Remember our basic premise? Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 9:25 that “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.” Paul gives us a clue to staying strong. This clue explains his own resiliency in life and ministry. It is this: He trained himself to go the distance. He sees life as a long term race, not a short term sprint. There are many people who discovered Paul’s ingredient for staying strong in the midst of change. We have considered David, Mary and Asaph. We have examined three keys for staying strong in the midst of change learned from these saints of God.
# 1 – Choose to build the strength of your inner life (Psalm 119:28).
# 2 – Take wisdom from what God has already taught you on your past journey (Luke 2:19).
# 3 – Be courageous to embrace biblical values when all around you move the other way (Psalm 73).
We want to take a closer look at the Apostle Paul himself and discover yet another key for staying strong in the midst of change.
# 4 – Live every day pursuing the big picture not the little cluttering images we are challenged with. It was in Acts 26:15-18 where Paul recounts his conversion with King Agrippa that he was captured by the big picture for his life.
15 And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, 17 delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you 18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ 19 “Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,
It is no wonder that Paul emphatically testified to the Philippians that he forgot those things which were behind him and kept straining forward to what was ahead of him, so much so that he confessed that he pressed on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14). Paul told Agrippa that he was not disobedient to the heavenly vision. In spite of all the changes and challenges and cluttering images that life threw at him, Paul just kept living in the “big picture” of his life.
Gordon MacDonald in his book “A Resilient Life,” reminds us of the Life of Moses. He recalls that Moses learned to live in the big picture. But it took forty years of of desert training and reaching the age of 80 no less before he got it (Exodus 3:6,10; 4:12)
6 And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
10 Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”
12 Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.”
Gordon observes something very critical about Moses: “Now Moses had his big picture and his marching orders. They never changed. Everything in his life, from this point forward, was measured against this large-view orientation.”
He concludes by warning us when you have no big picture by which you are living then “Life comes to resemble a bunny track–furtive darting to and fro, lots of motion, little direction.”
Remember Paul’s observation that we can become people who are “…tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming” (Eph. 4:14).
Are your eyes opened to the big picture of your life, and to what things would look like when the curtain falls on the last act?
Ask yourself the following questions:
 How has God gifted me to serve him and am I using those gifts?
In other words, what have I been equipped to accomplish?
 What am I living for and what is getting in my way?
 What does God want me to give out of my life to make the difference in the end? Think it thru