Life is a long and winding road filled with mystery and suspense, at times mazelike, an extremely difficult obstacle course, if you will. Along the journey our paths come upon good times and bad; times of health and times of sickness; times of sufferings, times of triumph; times of jubilation and times of sorrow, disappointment, and dismay. To everything there is a season, a time and purpose, Ecclesiastes 3 tells us. Both the high hurdles we fail to jump and the winner’s circle are a part of living life, experiences our heavenly Father allows for the purpose of conforming us into the image of the Son.
Paul wrote to the church at Philippi to say, “. .I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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. I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:11b-13 NIV).
Verse 13 could well be an anthem for most Believers and indeed, should be. As was pointed out in a previous sermon from this series, Paul knew that between the promise and the payoff there was a process, and he had no illusions as to the bitter implications the process would sometimes represent. The many challenges, dilemmas, and perils the aging apostle endured are clearly outlined in 2 Corinthians 11:22-29. There we see Paul’s earthly walk was far less than convenient or cozy; trial and tribulation were his running buddies, hard times a constant companion, but he pressed on knowing that the strength of God had an uncanny way of showing up when he was at his weakest (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
Wrapping up our walk through the book of James this past Sunday at the c|Life Forney campus, Pastor Nick Edwards brought us full circle in this wonderful study concluding with a reminder (in my words) that God is with us throughout the seasons of life – winter, spring, summer, and fall. Whether hitting home runs or striking out, our ultimate victory is already chalked up in the “win” column so that as followers of Christ always remember these two things, 1) “the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us”, says Romans 8:18, and, 2) “April showers bring May flowers” – count on it.
You can view this sermon and the entire series from the book of James at clifec.com. Go to the church website, click “Resouces” then “Sermons” and scroll to the “Faith/Works”, click and grow.