5 in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings;
The third set of three trials stems from the team’s missionary efforts.
The team labored hard in ministry (Acts 18:3-4; 1 Co 4:12; 2 Co 11:23; 2 Th 3:8). “Labors” means work to the point of exhaustion (1 Th 1:3). True ministry takes a physical toll on those who serve the Lord.
Paul worked night hours at his trade as tent maker (2 Cor 11:27). His long hours robbed him of sleep.
in fastings [hunger];
The team missed many meals in their service for the Lord (1 Co 4:11; 2 Co 11:27).
One issue in ministry is that it is necessary to pay a personal price for serving the Lord.
Anyone who assumes a ministry will pay a personal price for doing so, whether it is time, sacrifice in salary, or absorbing criticism. There will be temptations to take the easy way out, either by quitting ministry or not doing what we should to avoid trouble.
Those in ministry will have sleepless nights. There will be times when ministers will burn the midnight oil in an attempt to do ministry as they should do it.