Philippians 4:11-13 These verses of scripture give insight in to the lessons the Apostle, Paul, had learnt during his earthly pilgrimage. Life’s circumstances are our School of the Spirit if we have ears to hear and learn:
11 “…for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.
12 I know how to be abased and I know how to abound……
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”
Paul demonstrated that contentment came from making the Lord Jesus Christ the centre of his life. In doing so, the circumstances of life did not affect his contentment, his peace thermometer! Whether he had little or much did not affect him because of the greater treasure in life he enjoyed – his relationship with his Lord and Master, Jesus Christ. Jesus became all things to him and was the strength of his life, (verse 13 above.)
“Godliness with contentment is GREAT gain,” 1 Timothy 6:6.
Paul demonstrated the teachings of Jesus: “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God,” Matthew 5:8 Heart purity is seeing God in ALL things. God permits certain things in my life for a season to teach me His ways and exchange my will for His, and thus the character of Jesus is formed in my life. The Indwelling Christ begins to live His life through me – “Christ in you, the hope of glory,” Colossians 1:27, and God is glorified – the goal of our lives!
An unruly heart will endeavour to define my need, but the Holy Spirit is the only One who can reveal to me what my real need is. If I have more of Jesus and He is reigning in my heart, then I have everything!…..and I am not moved by my circumstances. I learn to seek God in them and keep a thankful heart – the key to God’s peace in my life.
The Adamic nature in us (giving place to walking in the flesh, Romans 8) will produce murmuring and dissatisfaction which displeases the Lord. Paul exhorts us to give thanks in ALL things, “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you,” 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Note that the scripture says “IN” and not “FOR” all things. With our eyes on the Lord of our circumstances we can remain thankful to Him with a sacrifice of praise amid the adversity we are experiencing. Gold is produced by this act of our wills, causing us to triumph in Christ and we become a sweet smelling savour to our Heavenly Father and the world. (2 Cor. 2:14-15)
If I become distracted or enchanted with things other than are of God for me, I can lose focus on the Lord, miss His appointments for my life and I become disappointed. Disappointment comes when I allow things or circumstances to take God off the throne of my heart. Disappointment will surely come to us in our lives, but never accept it as final. Consider it to be a stepping stone to re-focus and not a stumbling block.
FROM DISAPPOINTMENT TO DIVINE APPOINTMENT – to re-focus.
In the Old Testament David was a great example of how to deal with discouragement. He would pour his heart out to the Lord and then encourage himself in God by magnifying the Lord in his situations and keeping a thankful heart to God for His faithfulness – heart purity – seeing God in all things.
Disappointments may come…but….HE IS NOT A DISAPPOINTMENT! Oh glory, hallelujah! Exchange the lie I have believed for the word of God. Disappointments are not final destinations but learning curves in the school of life. As I learn to lean and trust in Jesus, life becomes sweeter. Swing wide the gates and let the King of Glory come in to every corner of our hearts, that we may shout in triumph with the heavenly host, “OUR GOD REIGNS, AND HIS KINGDOM RULES OVERALL!”…….Then watch our mighty King take His royal throne and rise from the ashes of the wood, hay and stubble of yesterday, to the new beginnings He creates for His glory. The King and I can walk this road together! Let this unruly heart of mine stay thankful!
Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”