God had a plan for Paul. I think that was made pretty evident in Chapter 9 when Jesus said to Ananias,
Acts 9:15-16 “Go for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to Kings, as well as to the people of Israel. And I will show him how much he must suffer for my names sake.”
We often forget that we are ALL “chosen”. Its when WE choose to live for Jesus and proclaim his name that we suffer. Jesus said it right there! It was not meant to be easy to follow Jesus. But in return we are promised to receive many blessing, just as Paul did.
~ Paul and the other prisoners became shipwrecked in stormy weather; but were welcomed with kindness from the island people.
~ Paul was bit by a poisonous snake; but was unharmed.
~ Paul was stranded on this island as a prisoner for 3 months; but was able to heal all who needed it, and spread the message. In turn being blessed beyond belief when supplied with all they would need once they set sail again.
Once in Rome, Paul endured even more suffering. He was permitted to have his own place, but must be constantly guarded. He was in prison at home!!! I can’t even begin to imagine how discouraging that could have been. I know, that I get in a “stay-at-home mommy funk” when I just don’t get out enough. Paul had to live like that for 2 years! But, he used it as an opportunity to reach those most needed. The people came to him!
I think above all, Pauls journey to Rome kind of punched me in the gut. He endured his trials without a second thought. He used every situation he was put in to spread Gods message. He didn’t let the things of this world (blindness, lies, imprisonment, storms, shipwreck, snakes, etc… ) get in his way of obeying what he knew to be Gods will!
God is there to help us get through our sufferings, not to let us walk through life without a trial suffered!!!
Remember who you are suffering for, and know that we will be blessed for our faithfulness!!!