Apart from the strength of the Spirit, we will fail. In the strength of the Holy Spirit, all things are possible.
Maybe Paul realized he couldn't compete with Corinth on Corinth's terms; that he simply needed to let the gospel speak on the gospel's terms.
What before were human qualifications, in the hands of the Holy Spirit become Holy Love; the demonstrative power of God.
A God who dies for his own people in order to save them is not only implausible; it is an absurdity.
The gospel permits "great distress," but it can rarely tolerate outrage, no matter how warranted.
Petitions and protests have their place in the church, but they tend to be pretty flimsy and of little consequence unless their purposed outcomes have deep moorings in the Word of God.
Even in the midst of difficulties, the psalmist looks back from a future point when his deliverance has taken place.
To be "open-minded" can be a good thing, but open-mindedness is only virtuous to the extent it is accompanied by rigorous discernment.
The Empire can tolerate respectable religion but it can never accommodate the faith of Jesus.
Paul was the master angler—the pro. He knew where the fish would be and when.