Summary: Nine principles of remaining purposeful, positive and passionate despite all of life’s difficulties.
Purposeful, positive and productive (I Cor. 15:57,58)
The following are several key principles that allowed Paul to remain steadfast and unmoveable always abounding in the work of the Lord.
1. PRAISE - Paul praised and thanked God for His power, purpose and victory given to him through the Lord Jesus Christ. All of our endurance comes from the Lord and we need to praise and thank Him for His attributes as a way of pleasing Him in all respects so we may bear fruit in every good work and increase in the knowledge of God.
2. PASSIONATE - Paul loved the Lord with all his heart, soul, strength and mind and his neighbor as himself. This allowed Paul to keep the fire of the Holy Spirit burning in his soul. Wesley said, "I set myself on fire and the people come to watch me burn."
3. PERSISTENT - Paul persevered through all kinds of hardships, adversities and opposition because he knew that his labor was not in vain in the Lord. When a person knows that they will receive rewards, benefits and blessings they can serve the Lord with gladness and confidence in a tireless way.
4. PURPOSEFUL - Paul knew whom he believed and was persuaded that what He had promised He certainly would perform. Paul also wrote, I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed to Him against that day. (2 tim. 1:12) When we are focused on accomplishing His purposes we can be unfailing, relentless and resilient.
5. PRINCIPLED - Paul lived objectively according to God’s priniciples instead of subjective feelings. Too many individuals are people pleasers, pleasure seekers or worriers about their circumstances. Paul did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith being fully persuaded that whatever God had promised He surely would bring it to pass.
6. PERCEPTIVE - Paul was discerning enough to know that even though others gave in to discouragement, disappointment or disapproval that nothing could deter him from seeing things from God’s perspectives. Let the certainty of God’s promises keep you on a steady course as you fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.
7. PRAYERFUL - Paul counted on the power of prayer to bring him through any difficulty. Paul spent the early morning hours praying and trusting God to renew his spirit. Like the Psalmist, Paul no doubt prayed, "Let me hear your lovingkindness in the morning for in you do I trust. Make me to know the paths in which I should walk for to you do I lift up my soul."
8. PROVISIONS - Paul knew that he would never lack any good thing because of God’s wonderful promise. "My God will supply all that you need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Phil. 4:19)
9. POSITIVE - Paul was optimistic despite all the people who tried to dissuade him from going forward. Paul wrote, "I care very little what you say, I do not even judge myself, for judgment is from the Lord. Wait until the Lord judges." (2 Cor. 4) Let us be upbeat, confident and assured that we can do everything God asks us to do with the help of Christ who gives us the strength and power to succeed in Him.
A Pivotal Prayer to Make a Difference
Lord, You have laid this concern on my heart.
It’s very clear that what’s going on is so contrary to what Your Word teaches.
Would You help me to make a difference?
I really believe that’s what You want me to do.
So I pray for wisdom to know how to begin, the energy to do the job, and the faith to believe that it will be done.
Help me to keep my eyes on what You’ve called me to do, and help me to always remember that this is all about making a difference so that You might receive greater glory in the lives of the people You touch.