Philippians 1 21For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
I love how Paul puts things in perspective. A summary of his life is useful to understand the uniqueness of his stories.
Paul was a Pharisee, which was a Jewish lawmaker, known for their zeal for the Law. They were really good people in a lot of ways, but they had little tolerance for other’s faults, and did not see their own faults, which as with all people were plenty. Paul was an extraordinarily zealous Pharisee whom was actually a leader of persecutions to extinguish the gospel message that stemmed from Jesus saving work on the cross. While leading one of these movements, Paul had a miraculous experience. He lost his sight and Jesus, through a vision, dream, or the Spirit, spoke to him. This event led to Paul’s 180 degree conversion. After this conversion, Paul had just as much zeal for spreading the gospel as he had had for extinguishing it.
In all of the zeal for Christ and His church, Paul endured much of that same persecution he had previously dished out. He was beaten and imprisoned. He understood what it was like to be a in a bad way, yet he never lost site of the work God had for him.
Lord, help us to follow after you, accomplishing the goal you have for us.