How Can They Take a Hit Like That?
 We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry,  but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities,
 beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger;
 by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love;
 by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left;
 through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true;
 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed;
 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.
 We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open.
As you sit and watch the Super Bowl, it’s not hard to watch some of those slow-motion replays and wince. I’m just sitting on a couch with friends, with a little kid eating Cheetos beside me, and OOOOF!!!
I watch some guy get slammed by a 250+ pound man running as fast as he can!
As you read through this list from second Corinthians, I can’t blame you if you winced here, too. It’s a list of things that look pretty awful. Who would want to sign up for such a thing?
Well, the same goes for those football players. Did you see that guy on his knees with his face to the ground weeping for joy? Did you see those guys lying on their backs making angels in the confetti? I bet they didn’t remember a single hit they took during that game.
The Christian life is built on exchange. I exchange my sin for Christ’s righteousness. I exchange my condemnation for His salvation. It’s something we live out and as we live it, we prepare and strengthen ourselves in it.
Did you see what this list was?
“as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way:”
This is a list of ways that the Apostle Paul is commending himself and his entourage of evangelists and church planters. These struggles are their boast because God is showing off in their affliction, love, and joy. Their circumstances don’t dictate their lives, but the Lord dictates their lives within their circumstances.
There might be some hard hits. There might be some plays of the week or slow-motion wincing, but in the end, it is God’s glory that we celebrate. He is worth it, and the more we train in Him, the better the plays.