• Wayne Fox

Confronting the ups and downs of life

Confronting the ups and downs of life

In our blog last week, we talked about the ups and downs of life. We did not provide any solution to this other than to depend on and allow God to guide us in our relationship with Him. In this blog we want to remind you that the decisions that we make in this life solely depend upon ourselves. Paul in the book of Philippians provides us a great amount of comfort as he points the Philippians to the antidote for the anxieties of life. As a preface to our blog today I would recommend reading Philippians 2:1-11. In this passage Paul provides us with four Christian experiences as he relates to them the experiences that Jesus Christ had while he was offering Himself as our sacrifice here on this earth. Number 1, we receive encouragement as we view the experiences of our Lord and Savior. Number 2, we receive comfort from the love that He demonstrated during His time here on earth. Number 3, the common sharing in the fellowship with the Spirit. Number 4, the tenderness and compassion that we should demonstrate to others.

These four experiences come into play in our lives as being like-minded with Christ, being of the same love as Christ, being of the same Spirit as Christ, and having the same mind with one another. This has just been a review of Philippians 2:1-11.

What I really want to get to is how Paul makes application to the Philippians in their situation. In Philippians 4:1 he tells the Philippians that they need to have joy. In verse 5 of that same chapter he tells them that they should be gentle with each other.

This paragraph (in Philippians) is 1 of my favorites. Then Paul states in: Philippians 4:6 (ESV) 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Paul begins with what I would call the impossible commandment, “don’t worry about anything”. Even this particular statement causes us to worry about not worrying about all the things that have gone wrong in life. I would refer you to Matthew 6:25-31. Jesus states: if God watches over the inanimate creation, how much more will He care for you? Paul expresses it a little different in: Romans 8:31 (ESV) 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Paul’s answer to anxiety is profound, but in every situation make your prayer and supplication known to God. Paul sums up the whole theology of prayer in these very important words. We are to have the same mind as Christ who had many, many examples of prayer in His life.

That really begs the question: What are you doing with your anxiety?

Another question that comes to mind: are we addictive to ourselves?

The real solution to anxiety is found in: Philippians 4:8–9 (ESV) 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Paul ends his discussions with the Philippians as he makes application to their situation, he presents to them what the Christian mindset should be – “right-thinking”. We should think on these things this will provide us with more peace and comfort than constantly worrying about the events and stressors of life.

If anything is excellent, if anything is praiseworthy, then think on these things. The virtuous qualities of verse 8 are put into practice in verse 9. All true thoughts are meant to be lived out in our daily conduct; to remember what we learn, always means to act on that memory or learning. The thoughts of verse 8 must necessarily lead to the life deeds of verse 9. These are the qualities that Paul himself had put into practice. Paul had taught these Christians, reinforcing the importance of right-thinking and right doing in life.

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