Philippians 4:11 …I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. ESV
No one likes to suffer or face difficulty. I know that I certainly don’t. If I had my way, the sun would rise to a beautiful blue sky every morning. Yet sometimes life isn’t always that easy. As the poet once said – ‘Into each life, some rain must fall.’ (Henry Longfellow) What should we do when life gets hard? There are several options:
We could become angry and fuss at God
We could hide in our room and pout
We could become discouraged and defeated and throw in the towel and quit
We could throw ourselves a pity-party and try to cry on everyone else’s shoulder
Or we could learn to look to God for His strength
The Apostle Paul had plenty of reasons to become angry and quit. Consider some of the hardships he faced as he served God.
2 Corinthians 11:24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. 25Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. ESV
If Paul had been like most of us he would have somewhere along the way turned to God and said, “Listen, I’m doing the best I can to serve You. Don’t You think that I deserve something a little bit better than this?” Yet Paul did not let his problems get him down, nor did he allow them to cause him to become resentful against God. Instead Paul learned to draw from his relationship with God the grace he needed to always stay strong.
Many believe that God often allows problems into our lives so that we will learn to depend more upon Him and less upon ourselves. As you go through this day, make Paul’s words your motto – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”