I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:10-11

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Doing is Being!

I have been wanting to post that I completed my Philippians study and share my thoughts on the last section of chapter four but God has kept me in chapter 4 specifically verses 12 and 13.

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. "

A couple of weeks ago, when my study was ending (so I thought)  the meaning of these verses became  clearer to me as I studied.  I felt like I understood what Paul was saying about being content...

But then real life hit and I found myself in a situation where I had to trust God daily to provide for me.  I realised at that point that my contentment was dependent on how comfortable I was.  My attitude during this trial revealed to me that I hadn't learned the secret that Paul had learned of being content. 

God kept bringing me back to these verses.. what is the secret?  Why am I not trusting God?  Why isn't my situation changing?  What can I do to bring back a more comfortable existence? Has God forgotten me?  Why is he not changing my circumstances?  These are all the thoughts I was battling with.

As I read these verses over and over it it became clearer to me that I was more focused on the part of the verse that says "I can do all things through him who gives me strength.' Specifically I was more focused on the "I can do."  I was looking at what I could do do get myself out of the situation I found myself in.  I was trying to "help" God figure out a solution and then getting upset when he didn't deliver like I though he should.

The "do everything" in verse 13 refers back to the "being content in any and every situation" in verse 12.  " I can be content in every situation through him who gives me strength."

I got it!! The doing is really being.  Just stand still and be content in the situation God has me! Trust him to take care of me.  Don't try to do, just be.  Be content.

God brought me to the end of Philippians and gave me an examination.  I want to say I passed with flying colours but thankfully God gives more grace and he is a patient God...it was an open book test and he held my hand through the whole thing.   He grew me though this situation and brought me to a different place in my walk with him.

I know it doesn't end there... there will be other trials but I pray that I will continue to remember the being before the doing!

The study with Katie is done but I am still in Philippians, right now reading Be Joyful (Philippians): Even When Things Go Wrong, You Can Have Joy (The BE Series Commentary) by Warren W. Wiersbe.

I think Philippians has become my favourite book in the Bible!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Every When

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Philippians 4:4 is one of those verses we readily agree with when things are going well, when life is great, when the road is smooth. But what about when we hit a bump, when things are not going our way and when life becomes challenging or even painful. What then? How can we rejoice? Is it even possible to rejoice?

Paul tells us to rejoice always.

Always in the Greek is pantote. Pan meaning every and tote meaning when. We should rejoice at EVERY WHEN!

So I must rejoice
...When my kids are not cooperating.
...When we are down to our last dollar.
...When laundry and dishes are piled high.
... When my day doesn't go as planned.
... When my child is sick.
... When I am treated unfairly.

You may ask, "But how can I rejoice in those situations?"

God doesn't ask is to rejoice in the situation.. he wants us to rejoice in him through the situation!

Rejoice: from the Greek xar: lean towards and xaris meaning grace. Literally rejoice means to experience God's grace.

We can rejoice in what God has promised us:

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.Psalm 46:1
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33b
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matt. 11:28

But now, this is what the LORD says--he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. Isaiah 43:1
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak." Isaiah 40:29

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand." John 10:27, 28


Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you.Isaiah 54:10
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him." Psalm 103:13

These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. John 15:11

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. Jeremiah 31:3

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:7

These are just a few of God's promises to us. In his Word are so many more- open it this week and see what God promises you. As you read and choose to believe what He says, you will have no choice but to rejoice through "every when"!