16th -17th April
“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.”
Paul, after his miraculous conversion on the road to Damascus, faced persecution for the rest of his life. He himself, before his conversion, brutally hunted down and persecuted believers for putting their trust in Jesus, yet after his conversion, he went on the receiving end of the persecution. Beaten, imprisoned and starved for boldly declaring Jesus is Lord, became the norm for Paul. Yet every beating he received, he counted as a blessing for the sake of being able to share Christ’s love with the world. It is due to Paul’s bravery that the church grew so rapidly and because of Paul’s teaching that we can know more about God’s character. Yet where did Paul find his strength from? Himself? Absolutely not. His strength came from Christ.
He knew that no matter what situation he faced, even in death, that Jesus would be with him and give him strength. That strength may not have always been a way out of the persecution but strength to go through it without wavering. Paul was a man that knew that on his own, he could accomplish nothing, but with the strength of Christ, he could change the world. Yet Paul’s motives were never that he would be glorified but that Christ would be lifted high. He was a great man of faith and an example to us all, to not put our hope and trust in our own abilities but in the strength that Christ gives us. We too can access as much of Jesus and His strength as Paul did. It is the same Jesus we serve. Our hinderance is the lack of ability to fully trust Him. When we completely surrender to Jesus, He can fully work and equip us with His strength. When we completely rely on His strength, that is when Jesus’ best work is done through us. Will you surrender all to Him and in exchange receive the strength to ‘do all things’ for Him!?