There are few things in life that are more important to us than our personal safety. Personally, I don’t enjoy pain and do everything I can to avoid it if possible. Today, however, we read about how Paul was beaten by a mob in Jerusalem. He likely would have been killed if the Roman soldiers hadn’t intervened. This is just one of Paul’s many encounters with violent mobs in his life. Most American Christians today are extremely unlikely to face physical harm as a result of our faith, but this episode from Paul’s life should still cause us to evaluate our own walk with the Lord. Maybe we should apply the “If Paul could risk a beating for his faith, then …” rule. If Paul could risk a beating for his faith, then surely, I can risk some discomfort in sharing my faith with a neighbor. If Paul could risk a beating for his faith, then surely, I can limit my lifestyle so that I can give generously to the support of God’s work. You see how that works? Maybe this will toughen our skin a little bit and help us to be bolder. At the very least, it will prepare us for whatever the Lord chooses to bring our way. “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” (1 Peter 4.12) It isn’t strange to bear pain for the sake of Jesus.