Paul is by far my favorite apostle. It's not just because he wrote several books of the Bible, or just because he was once a murderer of Christians then did a full 180. Those are both wonderful things, but Paul is my favorite apostle because of Philippians 4:11 which says, "for I have learned in whatever situation I am in to be content."
Now, anyone can just say this, but this is Paul. Paul is the same man who wrote in 2 Corinthians 11:24-28 that says, "Five times I received at the hands of the Jews 40 lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and I day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys; in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from the Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And apart from these things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches." and yet in all things, Paul was still content. Not to mention he was in prison for a good portion of the letters he sent. These things happen to Paul, and yet in verse 28, he is still worried about the church.
In life a lot of things happen to us. Things that we don't expect, or maybe things that we do expect. Things that were brought on us and things that we brought on ourselves. Bad things happen in life because that's how we grow as people. There are two kinds of people in this world: those who are content, and those who aren't. Now, I know you must be thinking, "Wow. That is SO impressive. I had NO IDEA! You are absolutely BRILLIANT!" (sarcastically, of course) but what I mean is that you have a choice to either let the things that happen in life effect your actions, or let your actions effect the things that happen to you in life.
You can either give excuses for why you didn't say a prayer today, or why you haven't opened up your Bible in forever. But on judgement day, God doesn't look at what happened to you in your life. He doesn't look at how others treated you. God looks at your actions and your actions alone. We need to remember that. So today I would like to encourage you all to overlook those things you could use as an excuse, and to instead look for the things you can do to get around those excuses.