I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty of in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12,13
Hard times are sure to come. Paul, who wrote Philippians, was no stranger to the good and bad times. He was doing well, as a Jewish, Roman citizen. He thought he had this “religion thing” pretty well figured out. He obeyed the Jewish laws, and when people claimed to believe in Christ, he helped put them to death.
Jesus appeared to Paul when he was persecuting Christians. He had a blinding light experience, and heard the voice of Jesus. He was no longer a Jewish, Roman, he was a Christian from that moment on. When he arrived in the town where he planned to persecute Christians, Paul had a hard time convincing the Christians that he was one of them.
He experienced a lot of tribulation. Paul’s account of some of his troubles: …I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again.24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn? 2 Cor. 11:23-29
Yet we are not to think it is strange that we are going through things, as our fellow believers are suffering too.
That secret to contentment Paul says is the strength of the Lord. In our weakness, is where we find His strength.
Build yourself up in the faith for when those times come, as they are sure to come. Try to memorize the verses that will strengthen, bring joy, peace, and comfort, and pray on all occasions.
This world that we live in is changing fast! I never thought the leaders of our country, and the leaders of our churches, would promote evil things. I never thought our government would go against its own people, I thought it was suppose to be governed by the people. Yet, the very document that was meant to govern our land is being trampled. Things that God tells us are evil, are being embraced. People are calling good, evil, and evil, good. Innocent people are being hurt every day in our country. I don’t like this face of change, and it grieves me, and breaks my heart, to hear and see what is happening today.
Be on your guard, brothers and sisters in the Lord! Stay content in knowing that God is in control, He is our help in times of trouble, and a Friend that sticks closer than a brother.
Lord, thank You that You are always willing to help us when we call out to You. Salvation, Faith, Joy, Contentment, are all things that come from You. Help us to trust in You to take care of us. Help us to think of these early Christians who suffered for their faith in You, that they can be an example for us. Help us to remember that it is not unusual in this life to suffer, especially for doing what is right. Help us to love You with all our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls. In Jesus Name we pray. Amen.