I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. Philippians 4:13. If I have learned anything about Christianity through Apostle Paul’s writing it is that you may have to suffer for the belief that Jesus is Lord. In Paul’s time, people did not want to hear the truth. In this society that we live in today, it is much the same way.
It is scary how modern society correlates directly with the society of Paul’s age. Today, people are violent against individual’s who do not believe the same way that they do. Homosexuality abounds, and transgendered people are no longer considered an oddity. We as a nation no longer want to hear the truth. Our politicians are corrupt, they pass laws to increase their wealth at the expense of our nation. God is no longer tolerated in our society. What is evil is now good and standing up for your beliefs is considered violence.
As in Paul’s era, people were lovers of the flesh, not lovers of God. Hence, his prolonged time as a prisoner. It seems that Paul was outspoken of the love of God, and his stance kept him bound. I find it to be enlightening though that throughout his suffering, Paul spoke of rejoicing. In Philippians 4 Paul writes that, “in whatever state I am in I have learned to be content.”
This passage of scripture is amazing to me. Chained, beaten and given little to eat, Paul spoke of contentment. To me this is mind blowing. He was content to suffer for his faith. Given the suffering of Jesus Christ upon the cross, Paul was able to understand that his suffering paled in comparison. In our society today, people are far from content.
It is nothing new to see people desire a new house, or car. I see nothing wrong with wanting to better your life, but at what cost? The Bible says, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?” In this light, it is my opinion (not Biblical truth) that our materialistic mentality may cause us to be lost. I understand that due to the high cost of living we must work massive amounts of hours to make ends meet. Where does it stop? When work becomes more important than church, or prayer meeting, then our spiritual life becomes weak.
In my own life, I am guilty of postponing my spiritual life to work extra shifts, seven-day weeks, and try to make enough money to stem the tide of bill collectors. At the expense of my relationship with my Savior. Then when I finally dragged myself to church, I was too tired to give God anything more than a half-hearted effort. I have come to the realization that if I give God control, and my best effort then I don’t have to worry about the rising tide of debt that seemed to constantly loom over my head. God has a plan. He doesn’t move when we think He should. He moves when the time is right.
God’s plan for our life can be seen in the verse that says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you.” When we put God first, He is bound by His promise. He states that, “give no thought to what you shall wear or eat.” I am not sure how the scripture goes, but to paraphrase: God provides for the birds of the air, how much more will He provide for us. To those that diligently seek Him with their whole heart, the Lord will provide our needs.