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From Trials to Triumph

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    Chapter 20—Paul's Secret: Exalt the Cross

    This chapter is based on Acts 15:36-41; 16:1-6, RSV.

    After spending some time at Antioch, Paul proposed to his fellow worker Barnabas, “Come, let us return and visit the brethren in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.”TT 107.1

    Both Paul and Barnabas had a tender regard for those who had accepted the gospel under their ministry, and they longed to see them once more. Even when far from the scene of his earlier labors, Paul tried to help these converts become strong in faith and wholehearted in their consecration to God.TT 107.2

    Barnabas was ready to go, but wished to take Mark with them. Paul objected. He “thought best not to take with them” one who had left them during their first missionary journey for the safety and comforts of home. He urged that one with so little stamina was unfitted for a work requiring self-denial, bravery, faith, and a willingness to sacrifice even life itself. So sharp was the contention that “Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and departed.”TT 107.3

    Paul and Silas at length reached Derbe and Lystra. It was at Lystra that Paul had been stoned, yet he was anxious to see how those who had accepted the gospel were enduring trial. He was not disappointed, for the Lystrian believers had remained firm in the face of violent opposition.TT 107.4

    Here Paul again met Timothy, who was convinced that it was his duty to give himself fully to the work of the ministry. He longed to share the apostle's labors. Silas, Paul's companion, was a tried worker, gifted with the spirit of prophecy; but the work was so great that there was need of more laborers. In Timothy Paul saw one who appreciated the sacredness of the work and was not appalled at the prospect of persecution. Yet the apostle did not venture to take Timothy, an untried youth, without fully satisfying himself in regard to his character and past life.TT 107.5

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