Philippians 3:17-21 NLT
Life with Jesus is certainly a fun-filled, exciting life. It is full of love, and hugs, and warm thoughts, and comfort, and peace, and joy.
However, sometimes, it’s not easy. Because God loves us so much, He wants us to have the full experience, not just a one-sided, one-dimensional kind of life. That wouldn’t be very interesting at all.
That means that in this world, there will be pain, sorrow, and hardship. God actually designed it so that life would be that way.
But the best thing is that God also made it so that we would be able to go through it. He made it so that not only would we be able to endure all that life throws at us, but that in the process we would also learn something. And not just at the end, but also all throughout.
“Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example.” Philippians 3:17 NLT
A good reminder for us here is the life of Paul the Apostle. He used to be a persecutor of Christians who got converted to Christianity by the hand of God Himself. And then he became one of God’s greatest servants.
When Paul answered the call of God, he wanted to do so many things for the Kingdom. He wanted to convert as many people as possible, he wanted to build churches, he wanted to love God in the best way that he possibly can. But then all of these did not come easy. Here’s a list of just some of the things that happened to Paul:
- He was beaten and even had heavy rocks thrown at him
- He was shipwrecked
- He was put in jail multiple times
- He had people who wanted to kill him, and he had to escape huddled in a basket
- He was bitten by a deadly snake
- He had a chronic terminal condition of some sort (perhaps eye trouble, I wouldn’t be surprised)
You would think even just one of those would stop him from serving Jesus. Can you imagine what his will must have been made of?
“But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.”. Philippians 3:20 NLT
Thankfully, God was with him at all times, and he was empowered to press on despite everything keeping him from his serving.
“He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.” Philippians 3:21 NLT
No matter how empty we think ourselves to be, there is always still something left over inside us, for us to do the task before us. This power comes from Jesus, who is an infinite fount of strength and power.