If you live in Arkansas there is one thing that is certain about our weather…it is uncertain. The weatherman can call for rain and we get absolutely no rain. The weatherman can call for no rain, and guess what…we get lots of rain. Here lately we seem to be getting our fair share of rainy days. In Arkansas the natural state, we’ve got all these natural resources to enjoy. Beautiful mountains, streams, lakes and because of our annual rain fall we enjoy pretty green trees and lush green fields.
In Philippians 3:10 Paul is talking about his magnificent obsession of his whole life in Christ. He says, “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings.” Now, here is a Christian with a restless heart; the kind we ought to have. He wants to have a deep, real, conscious sense of the presence of Christ as he moves through his day.
Now, as I read this, I’m thinking, “Man! I want this!” And then I hear, “the power of His resurrection.” I love that power part. Then I find out how you get the power. Because the next phrase says, “that I might know the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings.” We know from Jesus’ life there’s no Easter before there’s a Good Friday.
You know, the more it rains in your life, the greener you get spiritually. That’s what rain does. That’s what pain does. That’s what suffering does. It’s the greening of us. You might need to know that right now, because is it ever raining in your life! You’re going through a very long, very stormy time. Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve seen the sun.
Consider Saudi Arabia. I mean, it almost never rains there. Is that good? Well, I read something a while back that said, “All sunshine makes a desert.” And a life without rain? That’s a desert. The most precious moments in your relationship with Jesus Christ come when the clouds are covering the sun. When your resources can’t do a thing about that need, when very few people seem to care and no one seems to understand, those are the times when we collapse in the arms of Jesus and we live on the promises that we usually just quote.
Maybe you’ve been going through a particularly hard time lately. What’s the result? I’m going to guess you’ve been praying more, and praying more intensely than ever. I know when I’m going through those times, my awareness of God’s activity in my day is so intensified. See, I need Him so much during those hard times that I’m looking for His love. I’m looking for His involvement all day long. So guess what? I’m seeing Him more and I’m beginning to tap into the power of His resurrection.
Paul’s words, “I want to know Christ. I want to know His power.” And really, in a figurative sense, I want to be spiritually green. I want to be alive. I want to be healthy. I want to be growing. And it is not the sunshine that does that so much as the rain, the pain, and the suffering.
If you’re going through a hard time let this hard time not drive you away from the Lord, not drive you into discouragement, but drive you oh so deep into the love of Jesus, and deeper than you’ve ever been in His enabling grace.
You may never get to a point where you’re enjoying the rain, but you can love what the rain is doing.
Have a “Wonderful DAY in Christ.”
Family Worship Center