9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—
9 persecuted, but not forsaken [abandoned];
Although Paul’s team faced persecution, God did not forsake them (Josh 1:5; Deut 4:31; 31:6, 8; 2 Ti 4:16-17). Their enemies pursued or hunted them like fugitives, but they were not alone even though others sought to harm them. God never deserts or abandons His own (Mt 28:20; He 13:5). He always stays with people in ministry, no matter how many people attempt to destroy their ministry. People pursued them, but God’s presence never left them.
God never abandons ministers in the will of God.
Persecution, often verbal, is part of the ministry. When people fail us, God does not (He 13:5). The only time there are five Greek negatives in a row in the New Testament is in Hebrews 13:5 – “I will never, never, never, never, ever leave you.” Where men pursue us, we find God’s presence. Our adversaries afford us a new advantage to trust God’s presence with us.
God uses problems, setbacks, and persecution to show His power. If the believer tries to address his issues in his own strength, he will face burnout. Christians should not attempt to be perfectionistic in their ministry. God always works in our limitations and failures. Limitations in ministry are not a liability but an asset when one depends on God to get him through his issues.