What do you think of when you think of the color red? What words or things come to mind? The one that comes to my mind is passion and fire. It’s a color that can drive someone forward to pursue their goals even in the worst circumstances which leads us to the first point.
In Philippians 3, we hear Paul discuss leaving everything else behind to follow Christ:
Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake, I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.
Think about Amazon and how much you can order from that one website. Then think about the convenience of having these things delivered to your door. There are so many of us that get so excited when we get Amazon packages in the mail. It’s so exciting to get a package with things in them where we already know what’s inside! What makes it so appealing? Is it just the fact we got something new? Amazon has become such a large part of our society that it’s developed what we call the religion of Amazon. So what happens with all this stuff that we order from Amazon? When it’s broken or entirely used, what happens. I’m sure some people would guess that these items end up going to the dump. If you think about it, all our material objects will end up in the landfill someday because they are finite.
So what’s not finite? Well…God. God is infinite, and the answer to all our problems is faith. Having faith in God helps us be more righteous and lets us be free. In Philippians 3:9, Paul says just this:
And become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. Or through the faithfulness of Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.
No matter where we’re at in our walk with God, there is always going to be deeper levels we can go with Him. Our relationship will continue to grow and develop. Just as Shrek said ogres are like layers, so is God. We have to keep peeling back the layers and know that we’ll never reach the end.
After we accept Christ into our lives, we receive the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is what gives us the ability to make changes. In Romans 8:11, Paul describes the Holy Spirit:
The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
What does this mean for us? Well, we need to live a supercharged life to make a difference. We are only able to do so much with our power. But with the power of the Holy Spirit, the door is wide open. Think of a Mustang that has a turbo engine and how fast you can go in a small window of time. The distance you can cover is great, but imagine how much farther you can go if you turbocharge it even more. The places you can go grow exponentially.
I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead! ~Philippians 3:10-11
Paul discusses in the verses above that he wishes to suffer with Christ. It’s an excellent reminder of what Christ did for us. We also have to keep in mind that the suffering with go through is good for us. It gives us an opportunity to grow and become better people. James discusses how trial and tribulations can be useful for us in chapter 1, verses 2 through 4:
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
There is nothing that can protect us from different struggles, but we need to remember that even through our struggles, God is still with us. It is also true for other people. When they’re going through battles, God is also with them and maybe placing us in their lives to help them through their struggles. However, only God can bring them to the other side.