At any period in time, individuals will find themselves in either one of two states, blessed or in need. This status can change at a moments notice, from having a high paying position with great benefits to being unemployed. For those of you have endured the embarrassment of losing your job, this experience can be humbling. Yet, life goes on, with or within out you. The one thing God is eager to see is how will you respond to adversity?
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed, 1 Peter 4:12-13.
The odd thing about life is that sometimes when you think you are the person in need, someone else enters your life to help you realize how blessed you truly are. When I moved off campus in college, I used fast food restaurants as places to study. As long as you bought something to eat, refills were unlimited so I never ran out of caffeine. One morning I went to McDonald’s for breakfast, celebrating the two for two dollar breakfast sandwich deal. After quickly snarfing down my first sausage and egg McMuffin, I noticed a man who appeared to be homeless. Before taking a bite of the second one, conviction consumed my soul. Thirty seconds later, I got up, walked over and said, “this one is for you.”
But we commend ourselves in every way as servants of God: in great endurance, in sufferings, in hardships, in distresses, 2 Corinthians 6:4.
During the middle of the first century, the apostle Paul was diligent in his daily preparations. The passage above reveals the mindset Paul possessed as a follower of Christ. Paul wasn’t caught off guard or surprised like modern naïve Christians. Rather, Paul knew the cost of serving God, making this known to fellow believers in the letter above. To a certain extent, Paul appears to view himself as being blessed by God, always searching for opportunities to help others. Despite criticism, pushback and rumors, Paul was determined to honor God whatever the cost. This example should inspire people today to locate the down trodden, needy and poor; then extend the love of Christ by paying it forward, “this one is for you.”
by Jay Mankus