15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”
Many today are peaching a different gospel, a prosperity gospel, a gospel that says that God wants you to have a wonderful life without pain and suffering. But that kind of false teaching is quickly destroyed when we consider what God had planned for the life of Paul. Notice, it was God who has planned the suffering that Paul would endure in his life. So when Paul says that he faced imprisonments, countless beatings, and was often near death these were all planned and prepared by God for Paul to suffer. Paul goes on to speak about the forty lashes minus one, the beatings with rods and the stoning all of which God planned for Paul to suffer. This should put our suffering in a new light. Perhaps we should view our suffering and pain as the work of God in our lives. To what end? For the sake of his name, or in other words for the glory of God, and we might add from other passages, for our good.