I was reading recently of athletes who have fallen into despair because they can no longer play or compete at the level of their younger days. They would say ‘For me, to live, was playing this sport or that sport.’ They felt as if their best days were behind them because of their physical limitations in their chosen sport.
Sadly, there are many today, who feel exactly the same way, who never played sports at all. And, there are also those who did, who have a tremendous sense of melancholia over the ‘glory days’ gone by. Either way, it is very difficult to console or comfort their hearts. Being in Full Time Ministry as long as I have, I know, because, regardless of their former ‘occupation’ I have known many of them. The truth is, it takes something supernatural and from the realm and reality of God to bring fresh joy and renewed hope into the heart of a person who deals with this kind of issue and sadness. And that supernatural blessing comes from the mouth of one of the greatest men who ever lived.
Paul was so overwhelmed with the love and power of God that he said:
‘For to me, to live is Christ.’ [Philippians 1:21]
What is amazing about Paul is the older he got, the more powerful and joyful he became. To study his life is to learn that he was quite successful, well accomplished, and very aggressive in his ‘younger’ days. If anyone could have fallen into despair coming into an older time frame in his life, it was him. However, he encountered someone who is neither touched or affected by time or aging, and that was Jesus. [see Acts chapter 9].‘The older he got, the more powerful and joyful he became.’ Click To Tweet
From that day forward, Paul accomplished more than most men could ever hope to imagine in ten lifetimes. He was filled with a supernatural strength and wisdom that came from the very Holy Spirit of the living God. In fact, his latter days were so much more fruitful and rewarding than his ‘former’ days, he even stopped looking back or even thinking about them anymore:
“This one thing I do: forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me…’ [Philippians 3:13-14].
Now that sounds exactly like an athlete or a pro (at anything), in the very prime of his life! Without doubt, Paul was fired up, goal oriented, tough as nails, with his eye on the prize. And this same blessing, attitude, and reality, is available to anyone and everyone, who loves and serves the same Lord that Paul loved and served.
Amazingly enough, Paul used some of the strength, intelligence, and vigor of his younger days to fight and oppose (to say the least), Jesus and his followers. Yet, when the love and purpose of Christ invaded his life, he was completely transformed and ‘finally’ came into the realization that true life, to really ‘live’ and ‘die’ is Jesus. Here is the completion of the scripture in Philippians 1:
‘For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.’
The Power and love of God transformed Paul, body, soul and spirit. He can do the very same thing for you. Think about it!