Why did Paul (from the bible) endure so much and stay true to the message?

If all I see, right in front of me, are the trials that I face.
Then all I am, or can hope to be, I’m already in that place.
It really is sad and terribly bad because that’s not all there is.
Most just stop and never see, the road is filled joy.
Just look at Paul and what he faced. He knew there was something more.

“They won the crowd over to their side.
They threw stones at Paul.
They thought he was dead,
so they dragged him out of the city.
The believers gathered around Paul.
Then he got up and went back into the city.”
Acts 14:19, 20a NIRV

What do you suppose went through his head
When he walked back to the city?
Perhaps it went something like this.

They hated and scorned him. They despised all his words.
They promised to hurt him, even though he was right.
They won over the crowd. They threw all the stones.
They knew he was dead. They dragged him away.

They all walked away and he stood to his feet.
Where is this place? What did they just do?
How can I believe this? This just isn’t true.
What will they do next? How can I go back?

Shock, denial, avoidance, and fear.
Always first thoughts but don’t keep them near.
And now I can see what this is doing to me.
The choice I must make, I choose to move on.

Again and again, I look at my deeds.
I must face the facts, to inspect all of my acts.
It has to be there. I deserve what they gave.
The unbearable pain. I can’t stand the strain.

Pain and guilt, suffering and remorse,
hating my life and causing more strife.
And now I can see what this is doing to me.
The choice I must make, I choose to move on.

Life isn’t fair. I don’t deserve this.
You’re going to pay for what you have done.
You deserve to be harmed. You deserve to have pain.
You deserve all you get. You deserve to be crushed.

Frustration and anger and bargaining too.
Blaming everyone else and controlling them too.
And now I can see what this is doing to me.
The choice I must make, I choose to move on.

What a horrible life. I’m tired and I’m blue.
I’ve lost all my friends and no one can help.
I’m alone and I’m devoid with nothing to learn.
My strength is all gone and there’s nothing to do.

Lonely and depressed. Isolated and empty.
Despair ridden mourning for the loss I now face.
And now I can see what this is doing to me.
The choice I must make, I choose to move on.

Now I can see what is waiting for me.
There is great joy when we join the convoy.
Together we are stronger to live our lives longer.
We all have our strengths and we all need to learn.

If enduring some pain will cause others gain,
If feeding their souls will keep them from coals,
If feeding their minds will keep them from binds,
It’s worth the whole cost, to show them what’s lost.

Acceptance and hope will help us to cope.
Courage and trust will give us some thrust.
Faith that I know that I have something to show
that our bodies may die but our souls do live on.
It’s time for me to walk right back
and explain to them how God can help!

“They won the crowd over to their side.
They threw stones at Paul.
They thought he was dead,
so they dragged him out of the city.
The believers gathered around Paul.
Then he got up and went back into the city.”
Acts 14:19, 20a NIRV

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