In fact I take pleasure in infirmities, in the bearing of insults, in distress, in persecutions, in grievous difficulties--for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
And not only so: we also exult in our sufferings, knowing as we do, that suffering produces fortitude;
For though it is true that He was crucified through weakness, yet He now lives through the power of God. We also are weak, sharing His weakness, but with Him we shall be full of life to deal with you through the power of God.
On the contrary, as God's servants, we seek their full approval--by unwearied endurance, by afflictions, by distress, by helplessness;
"Blessed are you when men shall hate you and exclude you from their society and insult you, and spurn your very names as evil things, for the Son of Man's sake.
but His reply has been, "My grace suffices for you, for power matures in weakness." Most gladly therefore will I boast of my infirmities rather than complain of them--in order that Christ's power may overshadow me.
Nay, even if my life is to be poured as a libation upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I rejoice, and I congratulate you all.
Reckon it nothing but joy, my brethren, whenever you find yourselves hedged in by various trials.
But they will inflict all this suffering upon you on account of your bearing my name--because they do not know Him who sent me.
They, therefore, left the Sanhedrin and went their way, rejoicing that they had been deemed worthy to suffer disgrace on behalf of the NAME.
Who shall separate us from Christ's love? Shall affliction or distress, persecution or hunger, nakedness or danger or the sword?
We, for Christ's sake, are labeled as "foolish"; you, as Christians, are men of shrewd intelligence. We are mere weaklings: you are strong. You are in high repute: we are outcasts.
He comforts us in our every affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction by means of the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
(For we do not proclaim ourselves, but we proclaim Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bondservants for the sake of Jesus.)
We are hard pressed, yet never in absolute distress; perplexed, yet never utterly baffled;
For this our light and transitory burden of suffering is achieving for us a preponderating, yes, a vastly preponderating, and eternal weight of glory;
and that He died for all in order that the living may no longer live to themselves, but to Him who died for them and rose again.
I have great confidence in you: very loudly do I boast of you. I am filled with comfort: my heart overflows with joy amid all our affliction.
For it is not the man that commends himself who is really approved, but he whom the Lord commends.
Are they servants of Christ? (I speak as if I were out of my mind.)
and it is a joy to us when we are powerless, but you are strong. This we also pray for--the perfecting of your characters.
In conclusion, strengthen yourselves in the Lord and in the power which His supreme might imparts.
For you have had the privilege granted you on behalf of Christ--not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer on His behalf;
Now I can find joy amid my sufferings for you, and I fill up in my own person whatever is lacking in Christ's afflictions on behalf of His Body, the Church.
It so increases that we ourselves make honourable mention of you among the Churches of God because of your patience and faith amid all your persecutions and amid the afflictions which you are enduring.
Rejoice triumphantly in the prospect of this, even if now, for a short time, you are compelled to sorrow amid various trials.
On the contrary, in the degree that you share in the sufferings of the Christ, rejoice, so that at the unveiling of His glory you may also rejoice with triumphant gladness.