by F. L. Anderson
(Acts 14:19-20) Days after the people in Lystra had thought that Paul and Barnabas were gods and wanted to offer sacrifices to them, they stoned Paul and left him for dead. They hit him in the face and head with rocks for teaching the gospel and telling them the truth. They stoned him until he passed out. But as the believers gathered around him, Paul got up and went back into the city to preach and teach the Good News.
The word suffer means to endure, to labor under, to experience, to put up with, to allow. After such an ordeal like Paul's, many of us would have thrown in the towel. As a matter of fact, many have.
Paul had to contend with stones that were real and they hurt but, the rocks that you and I will be and are stoned with are words, people and life circumstances. Like rocks, they can hurt. However, like Paul we must learn to focus on the call and not the suffering.
So when the issues of ministry and life hit you in the head like a rock, be like Paul. Pick yourself up. Be committed to your calling. Though Paul was wounded, he understood the work that was needed. He understood that his suffering did not excuse him from God's call.