“11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for 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,” Philippians 4:11-13.
We all face various conditions in the life that disappoint us and some that can cause us to even give up. The apostle Paul knew about this perhaps as much as anyone.
Paul and Silas were beaten at Philippi before being imprisoned. They could have been groaning and moaning about their situation, but instead they chose to sing and to worship God while being in jail. They had been beaten and were in pain I’m certain. How many of us would respond in this way to a situation like this?
Paul was the cause of riots in Antioch, Thessalonica, Berea, Corinth, Ephesus and Jerusalem. But he didn’t allow the crowd to dissuade him from what he was called to do. He spent his time during the morning and afternoon hours mending leather goods, and then later in the day into the night hours, he taught and preached. His schedule was a demanding one, and yet he probably didn’t whine about it.
I’m certain that Paul faced hunger at many times because of his circumstances, but somehow he knew that he would find food and drink somewhere. Many of those around him hadn’t accepted him yet as one of their own, but in time they did.
“Through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true,”2 Corinthians 6:8.
I’m sure that there are few that could say that their life paralleled what Paul had to endure. But we all face continual struggles and disappointments. Many lose their homes to foreclosure, or they aren’t able to purchase a home because of monetary hardships and circumstances. Some have known the pain of divorce or the death of a spouse, and in time have seen how this circumstance can come forth into healing and new life. Some face the pain of a son or daughter who has taken on the life of drugs and has left home. Who wouldn’t be disappointed? And yet in time, that prodigal son or daughter will return.
We may have abundance at times and yet, we can’t trust the abundance, and we need to look to the One that provides the abundance. For it can quickly go away and leave us with little.
There are some among us who have lost their homes and they have had to find a place to stay at a shelter among the lowly. They once were pastors or missionaries, and now they have lost almost everything. And yet, some of them have learned how to adapt and to trust that their circumstances lie in the hands of the Almighty.
The words of those who say that God wouldn’t do this to one of His own, quickly fall to the ground and disintegrate. For those words are empty and are not given in compassion. But just as Job had everything taken away from him and his own wife told him to curse God and die, in time, he was given back double for what was taken.
It’s easy to quote these scriptures, but it is quite a different thing to live them.
~ Stephen Hanson
Stephen Hanson ofIn His Truth Ministriescame to the Lord is a special way in 1975 and has been prophesying regularly since. In these end-time birthing pangs we are to be reminded that judgment must first begin with the household of God. Will we be prepared and ready?