2 Corinthians 12:10
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
On a recent visit to North Carolina, I drove through a town named Mocksville. I should have been born there. Prior to becoming a Christian, I always loved to mock other people. So when I became a follower of Jesus, I was shocked to discover that I was the one being mocked. People were laughing at me because of my faith in Christ.
This is what happened to Paul. Right after his conversion, he started preaching the gospel in Damascus passionately until the religious leaders wanted him dead. The Christians found out and devised a plan to help Paul escape. They put him into a basket and lowered it over the city wall at night (0Acts9:23-25).
Think of the irony! Just a short time before, he was Saul of Tarsus, the notorious persecutor of Christians. The hunter had become the hunted. His name change from Saul to Paul offers insight into the real transformation that took place. In contrast, Paul means "little." Obviously, God had changed Paul into a man of humility.
Sometimes we want God to take certain things out of our lives that cause us pain. We pray over and over for those things to be removed. But do we ever stop to think that God is using those things in our lives to transform us and make us more like Him?
There is no level-up and graduation without the test. Being perfect is a test that continuously repeated until we can win over it.