Paul has help for pastors dealing with a most stressful job
MacArthur says when you have a clear conscience, you can weather the worst criticism. He draws 4 conclusions from 2 Corinthians regarding pastors and the abuse they face.
God uses redemptive suffering to humble us.
Humility is the greatest virtue. MacArthur says some people are too strong to be useful but no one is too weak to be useful. So embrace the suffering. If it humbles you, you are moving in the right direction.
Trials test our faith, hope, reveal what we really love, allow us to help others, and equip us for greater usefulness
God uses redemptive suffering to draw us to himself.
In the midst of his suffering, Paul prayed to God three times for it to be removed.
MacArthur says there is “There is something special about being in the presence of God in utter dependence,” adding “For that reason alone we should welcome suffering.”
God uses redemptive suffering to display his grace.
In suffering, we experience grace that the gospel writers have described as sufficient, abundant, full, grace upon grace, rich, and manifold.
In suffering, MacArthur reminds us, we get “the grace you don’t get until you need it.”
God uses redemptive suffering to perfect us.
Power is perfected in weakness. MacArthur tells the pastors, “if they throw you out of the church, be glad they did. He’ll use you somewhere else.”
Be content, for Paul tells us that when we are weak, then we are strong.
MacArthur’s advice, embrace your suffering and difficulties, don’t fight against them. Remember that Paul was depressed in ministry but saw what God was doing through the pain he had to endure.
It may be hard to carry a burden over which you can do nothing but remember that God is in control and working for your good and his glory.