A Way To Deal With Life’s Hard Places
No, I have learned in whatever condition I am, to be independent of circumstances. I am schooled to bear the depths of poverty; I am schooled to bear abundance. In life as a whole, and all its circumstances, I have mastered the secret of living – how to be the same amidst repletion and starvation, amidst abundance and privation. I am equal to every lot through the help of Him who gives me inward strength. (Philippians 4:11 A.S.Way Translation).
The less we are ruled by circumstances, the more spiritually mature we are. Babies whine and cry when they don’t get their way. And as we mature, we learn to handle conflict and difficulty without complaint, and learn how go with the flow. That’s not easy if we’re mostly motivated by the flesh.
Real spirituality is allowing the Word to rule us from the inside out. Being Word conscious keeps us from being circumstance led. Walking in the spirit keeps us from yielding to the flesh. And walking in the spirit is really allowing the word to gain the ascendancy over our minds, emotions, and will.
Our spiritual nature is amazing. It is capable of being developed just as a bodybuilder develops his muscles. And as we grow and develop spiritually, we learn how to live above circumstances. We learn to let the Word of God set the precedent as to how we respond to every challenge life brings.
The first step of course is the new birth, our spirit nature being transformed from darkness to light. Then, we must begin the process of renewing our minds with the word of God, so that the five senses don’t rule over the life of Jesus deep within us.
Then, we must make the decision to act on the word throughout the day instead of acting on circumstances and letting them get the advantage. We learn to refuse to allow emotions to control us.
So a spiritually controlled person can be full of joy when needs seem to be unmet, when outward circumstances are cutting and difficult. That’s because he’s not allowing outward things to control him, he’s letting his human spirit through the word govern his responses. This should be the goal of our Christian life.
When you live this way, everyday is an adventure. The above verse has been like a special friend to me over the years. This is one of my goals in life, to get to the point that nothing moves me. Hard places become testimonies to the grace and faithfulness of God. They become places to prove that the Word of God is true.
Uncomfortable circumstances become a challenge that must be overcome; much like a mountain climber must conquer that foreboding height. Challenges become an inspiration to succeed.
Life is a school. We’re learning to live as Jesus lived when we refuse to be changed by outward conditions. Let’s be independent of circumstances and dependent on the Word today. This is the reason why we never collapse. The outward man does indeed suffer wear and tear, but every day the inward man receives fresh strength. These little troubles (which are really so transitory) are winning for us a permanent, glorious and solid reward out of all proportion to our pain. For we are looking all the time not at the visible things but at the invisible. The visible things are transitory: it is the invisible things that are really permanent. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 – J.B. Phillips).