Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes…
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”
Ephesians 6: 10-11, 13-15 (ESV)
We all find ourselves at times in the midst of some battle of one kind or another. It may be in the midst of trying to meet expectations, facing uncertainty, experiencing difficult moments, or trying to figure out how to reach the goals we have set out before us. And in the midst of it, we run into moments of difficulty, whether they be roadblocks, disappointments or failures.
There is no better example of what our attitude should be like in those moments of difficulty we face in our journey, than we will find in the Apostle Paul.
One of Paul’s greatest ambitions was to travel to Spain. In the fifteenth chapter of the book of Romans, Paul writes to the church of followers of Christ which is located there the following—
“Whensoever I take my journey to Spain, I will come to you…”
Well, he never made it to Spain. Instead he ended up in a small jail cell in Rome. And so instead of another opportunity to share and glorify Christ in yet another location, he faced prison walls, punishment, eventually execution and death—for his Lord. That was his purpose, mission and goal. He did what he was supposed to do with his life.
No matter where Paul found himself, he stood firm and stayed the course, striving to carry out his mission, his goal of serving Christ by sharing Christ. He could have cursed his fate, taken out his anger on fellow prisoners or his guards, become bitter or rebellious. He might have said: “Well, I tried, but I was stopped short and put in jail, so I’ll just have to accept my fate and do nothing further.”
But he did none of that, and instead he said:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power…Therefore [we must] put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand…firm.”
He was committed to continue to work at whatever God called him to do, to stand tall, and to stay with it, because he believed that his work was not done and that God could still use him.
If life were all sunshine and flowers as the expression goes, if life were easy, some of the great things in life would probably never happen. For it is often out of moments of difficulty and despair, frustration, doubt, and apparent defeat that victory is very likely to follow. That is, if we continue, as did Paul and his Savior did, to do our very best, to stand firm, to give every bit of every fiber of our being to the cause to which we have been called.
Then, whether we win or not in the world’s eyes—we win!
The words of this song remind us of what Paul believed and perhaps we should remember—
“God has not promised skies always blue,
God has not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain;
God has not promised smooth roads and wide,
Swift easy travel needing no guide;
Never a mountain rocky and steep,
Never a river turbid and deep;
But my God has promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, life for the way,
Praise from the triumph, help from above,
Unfailing sympathy, undying love.”
A power and love we can rely on. Believe it!
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2015. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.