Philippians 4:11-13 (ESV) 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
All ya'll 60's and 70's hippies out there! Remember that blast from the past by The Moody Blues? I still remember sitting around the hooch overseas in 1970 with my friend Chucky Harris listening to the 'question" in this song.
"Why do we never get an answer
When we're knocking at the door
With a thousand million questions
About hate and death and war?
'Cause when we stop and look around us
There is nothing that we need
In world of persecution that is burning in it's greed"
The writer goes on to declare that "I'm looking for someone to change my life,I'm looking for a miracle in my life...."
That someone,with that miracle,along with the answers to the question became reality to this writer around 7:30 A.M. on October 8,1975, in the person of Jesus of Nazareth,the Lord of Glory.
Some 45 years later however, the world is asking the same question isn't it? It is seeking the same miracle isn't it? Where's the peace? Or better "Where's the beef" as the Wendy's woman used to say.And herein lieth the lesson.
Chloe came home from school one day this week with something her teacher had said to her. It was about Thanksliving. No,not a typo. Thanksliving. In addition to our yearly celebration of Thanksgiving to God,wouldn't it be nice if we spent the rest of the year in THANKSLIVING to God. Hmmmm.....out of the mouth of babes.
As I pondered the wisdom of the 9 year old sitting in the back seat,the Lord put the above verse on my mind.
I have read this passage of Scripture countless times and while reading,an image always comes to mind. That of a man at perfect peace. Peace with God. Peace with the world. Peace with HIMSELF. Maybe you don't get that picture,but,for some reason I always do.
You see the Apostle Paul had found it. You remember the bumper sticker from many years ago? I FOUND IT! Well,Paul had found it. Found what? The secret. The secret to WHAT please, Ronnie?!!
The secret to peace and contentment of course.The answer to the question don't you know?Listen to this. Life,I was told long ago, is like a wheel that rolls down the road. Sometimes you are on top,with the world by the tail;and sometimes you are on the bottom looking up. There are times and seasons for everything. Read Ecclesiastes 3. Ya feelin' me here?
But,the Apostle Paul had found the secret. It was maintaining a balance throughout all the different circumstances and conditions that life presented him with. Paul had....and here it is...Paul had LEARNED to be CONTENT in whatever situation he found himself in. And here is the power in that Scripture.
In order to LEARN contentment and peace in hard times,we must of necessity, EXPERIENCE hard times. In order to LEARN contentment and peace in PLENTIFUL AND ABUNDANT times,we must EXPERIENCE plenty and abundance. What's that Ronnie? We need to learn contentment in times of plenty? Brothers and sisters,as has been proven from time immortal, there is more danger to our soul in times of plenty than in times of need. But that is another story.
So my question today is where are we presently on the wheel?
Are you on he top and the whole world is your oyster? Take heed. Don't forget WHO got you there.
1 Corinthians 10:12 (ESV) 12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.
Or are you laying flattened on the road trying to see the license plate of the semi that just trucked you? Take heart this too shall pass.
Job 42:12 (ESV) 12 And the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning.....
You see Paul had learned the secret. Rainy days or sunshine, famine,drought or plentiful harvest,the question had been answered for him. It was a matter of balance. It was keeping the Lord Jesus in front of his eyes no matter what. It was a question of Thanksliving.
Psalm 68:19 (ESV) 19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation.