“Press on!” by Randy J. McPheron
A pastor called me recently and shared that he feels that this is the most difficult season of ministry he has ever seen. People are struggling. The mood is bad. Noticeably there is a lack of warmth and loving kindness. The atmosphere in and around people lacks of warmth and friendliness. The challenges of ministry today are great, but let me encourage you to press on! One of the many encouragements we find in Scripture is Paul’s Letter to the Philippians. Paul wrote this Letter from prison while experiencing the suffering of being jailed for preaching the Gospel! In one of my favorite passages Paul wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord and again I say rejoice.” It was so important he said it twice!
What is lacking in people right now is pure joy. Joy is contagious! As believers in Christ we can affect others with the joy we have in Jesus! Don’t be in a bad mood. Don’t take your eyes off of Jesus. Do not allow circumstances to rob you of your joy! Press on and endure hardship by rejoicing in the Lord! Paul also writes in Philippians chapter 4, “Don’t be anxious” or as the King James puts it, “Be careful for nothing.” Instead Paul offers this remedy for worry, “In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God and the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
We press on by not giving in to the temptation to worry, but instead we bring our cares to God in prayer! We press on by taking inventory of the many blessings God has showered upon us and we praise His Name! Instead of grumbling and complaining we are thankful. We endure trials by being thankful! Thankfulness is a characteristic of a truly saved person! Being thankful is an expression of the fact that God is good! God is good no matter what we are going through, and He has a purpose for our suffering. In Paul’s case it was the furtherance of the Gospel through imprisonment. Today, people are trying to make sense of the world we live in. The Gospel gives the most sensible and only accurate explanation! We know as Christians that all things work together for good to them love God and are called according to His purposes. God is at work in the midst of your suffering. Press on and endure. It won’t be long until we will be in His Presence! Be confident that God will supply your every need and comfort you as only He can! God will take care of you! Meditate again on Philippians chapter 4 and allow these precious words to rekindle your joy in the Lord!
“So stand fast in the Lord” (Philippians 4:1) “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” (Phil 4:4)
“Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” (Philippians 4:5)
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13)
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)