To be able to make this statement, as Paul did, in Phil. 4;11 is to demonstrate a certain peace and maturity in the Christian walk. Many think, consciously or unconsciously, that when they accept Christ into their lives they automatically receive all the attributes of our Lord and that, in a way, they have arrived, never again to have to worry about suffering and the like. This could not be further from the truth, for the born again experience is just a birth and the beginning of a rocky journey. The Lord Himself “learned he obedience by the things which he suffered” (Hebrews 5;8) and so must we.

I remember years ago, early in my walk with the Lord, recognizing my lack of patience. I felt that I should only have to tell my children once and that would be enough. As a result I was constantly frustrated so I sincerely asked the Lord for more patience. It wasn’t very long after that He sent a little girl for us to adopt who was to try my patience to the end. Another time I prayed that the Lord would give me some important job to do for Him and I subsequently found myself in a very menial position that seemed to be unimportant. I know of others who have prayed for increased faith, only to find themselves in financial crises or dealing with a sick child or being the brunt of ridicule. But one of the most difficult lessons to be learned is to ask for more love toward others and then find that the Lord has sent someone into our life that is very abrasive and unlovable.

In all of these experiences in Christian life we have two choices; We can either back off in our relationship with the Lord and be careful what we ask for, take a backseat position, and become a bit resentful in the process, or we can come to the realization that this is how we learn the graces of God and come to long for them. James chose to follow through and said it this way, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptation; Knowing this, that, the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” (James 1;2-4) He then proceeds to advise those who lack wisdom to ask for it, but warns not to be double minded in this for to obtain wisdom we must be willing to go through what it takes to obtain it. All of this sounds very difficult, particularly to the new Christian, but, without a doubt, the joy and peace that comes with following through and seeing things as they actually are and not as we want them to be, far outweighs the suffering that we must go though to obtain it. Paul said, “That is why, for Christ’s sake I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12;10)

Finally it is important to remember what Jesus said in Revelation, “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God”. (Rev. 2;7)

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain,
Will your anchor drift, or firm remain? (Will Your Anchor Hold)

Posted on February 19th, 2014