Lately I have certainly needed it, as my whole body's systems became upset....
due to the allergic reaction to a sulfa drug.
I had to have an MRI of my head last week due to possible involvement of my brain.
I praise God that the tunnel they put me in was not as 'tight' as the old days, but I still spent the 20 minutes, thanking God for all of the churches and people in my life.
I repeated every Scripture that I could think of.
My favorite then (and during the sleepless nights this past month) is Isaiah 26:3-4:
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee....
because he trusts in thee.
Trust ye in the Lord forever for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength."
The Apostle Paul had to have a Prescription for Peace for he was:
1) Persecuted in Antioch
2) Stoned and left for dead in Lystra
3) Assaulted in Iconium
4) Beaten and jailed in Philippi
5) Attacked by a crowd in Thessalonica
6) Pursued by Bereans
7) Despised in Athens
8) Blasphemed in Corinth
9) Bound by chains in Jerusalem
10) Imprisoned and martyred in Rome
Though in prison without his freedom....
In winter without a coat....
In court without friends...
In poverty without aid...
Paul still had Peace that passes all understanding!
He found that God's Grace was Sufficient for each and every circumstance.
We, like Paul, should live so close to the Lord that in life...
and in death...
we can have the same Peace that he experienced.
Paul was very intelligent and knew much about religions and philosophies.
But when he got saved (Acts 9) and for the rest of his life...
he was a man 'in Christ'.
This was a position that he took by repentance and faith.
The rest of his life was lived with 'Christ in me, the Hope'. (Col.1:27)
Even as a prisoner being taken to Rome during a shipwreck he said to 'seasoned sailors',
"Sirs, be of good cheer for I believe that it will turn out like God said it would"....
and it did!
I think that Paul's philosophy of life could be:
1) Worry about NO thing
2) Pray about EVERY thing
3) Be thankful in the midst of ANY thing
Philippians is my favorite among the 'Prison Epistles' and it's theme is the 'Joy of Jesus'.
Chapters 3-4 give Paul's Prescription for Peace.
The key verse is Philippians 3:10:
"That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection...
and the fellowship of His sufferings being made conformable unto His death."
1) KNOWING CHRIST:
Paul probably knew the Old Testament Scripture Psalms 46:10:
"Be still and know that I am God."
Paul had many 'forced times' of stillness (prison and lonely mission trips, etc.)
Someone has said:
"The strength of a person lies in what he/she does with quiet time, alone."
Paul came to know Jesus as Lord of all. He called it, 'being complete in Christ'
(Col. 3:10 & 4:12)
His theme could actually be 'Union with Christ'.
This meant to him:
What God claims, I yield...
What I yield, He accepts...
What He accepts, He fills...
What He fills, He uses...
What He uses, He blesses.
2) EXPERIENCING THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:
In Philippians 3:10, Paul calls it 'The Power of the Resurrection'.
He knew (and we must) that Christ is alive and can live in and through us....
via The Holy Spirit.
He also knew 'greater is the power that is within me than any power in the world'.
(I John 4:4)
In Acts 20:18-24, we have a great passage on 'Salvation and Service'.
Paul says in verse 22: "I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem". Wow~
May we also be led by the Spirit like Paul to be:
Fervent in Prayer....
Fearless in Principle....
Firm in Purpose....
Faithful in Promises...
and have Faith enough to face ALL problems!
3) ENJOYING THE PEACE THAT PASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING: (Philippians 4:7-9)
Verse 7 uses the word 'keep' which means 'guard'.
Verse 8 tells us that God will enable us to be:
"Those things which you have both learned, received, heard and seen in me, do.
And the God of Peace shall be with you."
Paul claimed these Promises and therefore he was:
Confident even though he was a victim....
Joyful in spite of other people....
Hopeful regardless of uncertainty....
Contented because Christ was in control.
All that I have shared in this paper is for naught (for you and me) if we do not...
claim the Promise in Philippians 4:19 (one of the greatest verses in the whole Bible):
"My God shall supply ALL my needs according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus".
J. Sidlow Baxter emphasizes this Scripture in his book entitled, 'His Part and Our's'.
The Bank....'My God'
The check....'Shall supply'
The amount....'All your needs'
The capital.....'His riches'
The bank address....'In Glory'
The signature....'By Christ Jesus"
So my friends, let us do what Philippians 3:13b says.
Reach for all that God has for you and never forget WHO is in charge!
We love and appreciate you and your prayers!
I got up at 1:00 this morning in search of peace and found your article. I know you and I know you are a man who finds peace in troubled waters. Thanks for showing the rest of us how to walk humbly before our God. Love you both!