Hos.6:3 – So let’s learn, let’s press on to know the LORD.
His appearance is as sure as the dawn;
And He will come to us like the rain,
As the spring rain waters the earth.

When Paul wrote his letter from prison to the church in Philippi he was obviously considering this passage in Hosea. Hosea spoke of the “third day” and pressing on to know the Lord describing the coming resurrection of Christ. Paul had encountered the resurrected Lord outside of Damascus and instantly became a follower of the Lord. His passion to know Christ did not decrease with the years but grew into an intense flame of passion to know Jesus more intimately. He knew that knowing Christ was the answer to all of the challenges in life. Even in his older years he pressed to know Him more. Here is how the pillar Commentary describes Paul’s desire to press on.

“The treasure for the sake of which Paul has gladly lost all things is fellowship with Christ. His one passion is “to know Christ” and to share in Christ’s resurrection life. In the present, this means experiencing the power of Christ’s resurrection in paradoxical fashion—through sharing in Christ’s sufferings. Paul pours himself out in service to others for Christ’s sake, increasingly becoming like Christ in his self-giving death, so that he may also share in the resurrection from the dead, of which Christ is the first-fruits. Paul takes pains to prevent misunderstanding at this point. Although fellowship with Christ is a present reality, he has not yet attained his goal or “been made perfect”. But because Christ has already laid hold of him, he strives with the single-minded devotion of an athlete to lay hold of the prize to which God has called him: the immediate and unbroken fellowship with God in Christ that resurrection life will bring.”

I think it is critical to see the connection Paul made with suffering and trials to knowing the Lord in a greater capacity. It is not the miracles or answered prayers that caused a deeper walk, it was the tough times that Paul associated with pressing in to know the Lord. Paul was in prison for preaching Christ, this is not a coincidence. He was drawing closer to the Lord in his imprisonment. It’s not that we seek trouble (we wouldn’t wish pandemics and hurricanes on anyone), its just those are the seasons when Christ works His deepest work in us.

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