Friday, November 22, 2013

Surviving Troubles

Surviving Troubles
Philippians 4:6-9
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.  Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

"The art of living is the least learned of all arts. Man has learned the art of existing, of getting by somehow with the demands of life, of escaping with half-answers, but he knows little about the art of living with all its demands." Quote by E. Stanley Jones.

Most people can't cope with life because life to them is just existing or filled with too many problems. Some people believe life is a horrible experience and they will let you know that in an instant, if they are given the opportunity. Some of these miserable people don't like their families, they don't like the one they're married to and, they don't like their jobs, their income or themselves. They live an unhappy life with nothing ever changing for them.

Job said, "Man is born into trouble, as the sparks fly upward (Job 5:7). Everyone has problems but the question is, how do you deal with your problems? Do you break down or fall apart when things happen to you that you don’t understand? Do you get angry, or pout inwardly when hard times come? Have drugs, alcohol, overeating, or other things been your way of escape? The Biblical answer would be for you to work through the trouble and come out victorious before God. Philippians 2:12,13 says, ... work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. It is God who is at work in you to do His will for His good pleasure. 

Paul, in Philippians 4:9 said, Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. Paul was brave enough to give himself as an example of coping with life in a godly manner. You may think this sounds prideful or that he was boasting but he was doing neither. Paul was saying, "Now you watch me and the way I do it, you do it." He learned the secret of surviving trouble and the secret to victory. He was so secure in knowing that God was in control he could sing in jail and stand boldly before the Greeks on Mar's Hill declaring his faith without hesitation. Paul stood in confidence before Felix, Festus, and Agrippa with his life in their hands and did so fearlessly.

What are the things that Paul taught that would help you through hard times? Philippians 4:6 teaches that you are to pray about everything and pray specifically with a thankful heart. When any burden arises, you are to ease your mind by prayer, seeking wisdom and direction to lead you through the trial victoriously. Prayer is making not only your desires known before God, but also your hurts and pains. Not that God needs to be told about your trails or wants, for He knows them better than you do, but you need to express your total dependence upon Him for everything. This, in the end, will give you peace or as Paul writes, “will keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). It will keep you from sinning during your trials and from sinking under the load of them. Peace is a calming affect without confusion or anxiety and brings satisfaction to your soul. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee (Isaiah 26:3).

Thought: We are exhorted to have a good name before God and man and have a high regard for the truth with our words and behavior. Paul encourages us to “think” on things that are true, honorable, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and worthy of praise. We as Christians should walk a virtuous life before men that they may see our good works in our difficult times and glorify God through them. We should not only survive troubles but grow and mature in them  with a renewed mind to, prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2b).

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