The existence of hardship is one of the universal proofs of our fallen condition of the world we live in and our own nature as human beings. Ongoing trouble is a life reality that we cannot control or stop. We must find a way to deal with it.
This is why Jesus & His message are so critical and powerful. Through Jesus we can have a life that rises above the fallen nature of this world. Through Jesus we can Choose real Joy in the face of Life’s hardships. But it requires intentional actions of the heart that play our in our habits.
Last weekend’s message focused on four responses to hardship that deepen Jesus’ peace in your life no matter what you face.
Choose Patience with Difficult People through Jesus.
Phil 4:5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.
Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.
When fiery troubles come we have a choice of responding with water or gasoline. Once feels better at first but quickly gets out of control. The other requires a deeper source of peace. Jesus’ presence makes gentle patience possible.
Give Your Worries & Fears to Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Isaiah 26:3 “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You.
Worry chokes out Jesus’ work in our lives. Worry causes us to react with foolish panic. Use some spiritual Judo and let Jesus choke out the worry instead. He will if you will release it to Him in prayer. Call a time out and seek Him in prayer until you have let go and His peace takes hold of you.
Resist Discouragement with Focus on God’s Goodness.
Phil 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
Prov 4:23 Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. Cf. Matt 16:23, Colossians 3:2
Our focus shapes our life. If we can choose to focus on God’s good instead of dark possibilities we will find strength to stand up in any difficulty. Jesus’ perspective keeps us steady under pressure.
Keep Growing in Your Obedience to Jesus.
Phil 4:9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Bottom line: Sin hinders our relationship with Jesus. Ongoing obedience to Jesus keeps us close to God.
God is our peace. He longs to be at peace with us and anchor our own hearts & minds in His peace. This comes through following Jesus in faith. When we trust Jesus we have peace with God. That peace should anchor our hearts and alter our perspective when we are at war in the world.
We can respond gently because He is our peace. We handle the arrows of fear and worry through deflecting them to the Father as quickly as possible. We cooperate with God by choosing to see His good everywhere we look. We also persevere in living out what He asks as we follow Jesus. In this way our experience of His peace is maximized.
To hear the full message go to parkviewfamily.com. Even better if you are in driving distance join us this next weekend as we look at developing a foundational contentment in life that trials