Philippians 4:11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
The apostle Paul wrote the words above and illustrated something that Jesus said in the Beatitudes. The general thought is that Paul’s attitude and hope aren’t determined by the circumstance he’s in. Jesus relayed the same message in the sermon on the mount.
In Matthew 5, verse 3, Jesus said… “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
This message, based on Jesus’ teaching, can help us to “overcome” the situations that we are in, and take a stand that says, “Satan, you can’t have my hope and joy. You will never own them. They are mine and God’s to enjoy together. Send what you may, I refuse to allow circumstances to dictate my faith in God and enjoyment in life.”
The “depth” of life is our spiritual self. The physical is all temporary and will pass away. The spiritual self lives on in eternal life. It seems foolish to let the temporary trials steal the permanent hope and joy. So… don’t let go of your hope and joy. Proclaim them when the enemy attacks, when funds are short, when relationships are struggling, and when your self-confidence is wounded and bruised.
Isaiah 40:6 A voice says, “Cry out.” And I said, “What shall I cry?” “All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. 7 The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass. 8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”
It’s absolutely true that our temporary physical self can suffer horribly and that our hope can be affected. The questions are, “Where does our hope come from? What is our hope based upon?’ This message will explore those questions.