Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV)
“…for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
After being stoned, beaten, shipwrecked and set up for murder, Paul had definitely learned a few things. He learned to bless the Lord when things were going well, and to trust the Lord when things were going bad. He also learned to keep going. He refused to turn back, to give up, or to give in. He learned the simple truth that He could do all things through Christ who strengthened him.
This is something we need to learn as well. So many people are looking for hope these days due to the chaos that is all around them. But even though life can be full of difficulties, the good news is that the troubles we face are not meant to bring us down. They are meant to lift us higher and help us to grow in spiritual maturity. They are designed to help us discover the deeper spiritual truths that will empower us to reach our divine destinies.
The devil may have you convinced that you can’t, but he is a liar. With Jesus, you CAN! Your friends may tell you to give up, but they do not know the source of your strength. When you are weak, HE is strong. God does not raise up children to be defeated, to quit, or to go through the motions of life. No, God raises up children to win and to gain the victory in all situations through Christ. As Christians, we are His children. And if God is for us, who can be against us?
Sadly, we are the ones who put limitations on ourselves and on God. We do that when we say “I can’t” instead of “I can.” It is time to get rid of that kind of thinking. We need to renew our minds and remove any obstacle that is preventing us from believing this scripture with all our hearts. We must let go of our sin, pride, doubt, guilt, shame, and our own selfish-desires and then start living out what we believe. Obedience is the cross-over step that moves us from “I can’t” to “I can.” If we do not obey, then our disobedience will make us unable to receive the richest truths of God that will sustain us during difficult times.
Think of Paul. Think of everything he went through as he obediently served God. It was not an easy road to travel. He endured so much. Yet he obeyed throughout it all. That is why he was able to receive such incredible and divine revelations from the Lord. Those revelations not only sustained him through his own hardships and difficulties, but they continue to sustain all Christians throughout every generation. What a testimony!
It is amazing what one person can do if they have an attitude that says, “I can!” That attitude not only positively affects our lives, but the lives of those around us who are looking for hope in the midst of their circumstances. If you want to be that kind of person, then I encourage you to get your head and your heart on the same page so that you can be like Paul and be ready for whatever comes your way.
Lori Wriston is the co-founder of Valor Ministries, a non-profit who helps low income residents of Washington County, MD, reach self-sufficiency. She brings her unique insight of business, church and non-profit management experience together for the greatest effectiveness of the organization. As a motivational speaker and teacher, she reveals the real life struggles and circumstances she overcame and encourages others to do the same. She shares the Good News that no situation is too great for God. Lastly, her entrepreneurial spirit motivates her to mentor others to launch their own ministries or non-profits. Visit Valor Ministries.