HOPE FOR HARD TIMES
Living With Certainty in an Uncertain World
Talk about uncertainty… The Apostle Paul did not know what to expect from day to day… but he was at peace. While in prison and scheduled for execution Paul wrote this letter. Yet, he wrote it as though he did not have a worry in the world. What was his secret? How did he remain certain and peaceful when things seemed to unravel at the seems? In the following verses Paul gave us his secret for obtaining peace and being certain in times of uncertainty.
Make A Choice To Rejoice
“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say rejoice.” Life can be challenging and make us unhappy but the Word of God does not command us to be happy. There are several commands to rejoice. The apostle is so adamant about it that he says it twice. The believer is not to rejoice at “distant intervals” or during church worship but at every moment of our lives. What do we rejoice over? We must rejoice over the fact that God is in control of our lives no matter how out of control life may appear. The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Therefore, our joy is enveloped in the exaltation that God is certain in an uncertain world and we can have joy in life’s painful and uncertain situations. What Paul has discovered is that your attitude will determine your altitude. Attitude is the eye of your soul. Your attitude determines how you view life. If your attitude is negative, you will see life negatively. If your attitude is positive, you will see life positively. If you have a thankful attitude, you will find something to be thankful for.
Show Some Will Power
“Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” There should be visible signs of joy in your life that others can see even in times of uncertainty. The word moderation means restraint on passions. It means that which is fit or suitable or to govern your appetite or refrain from excessive eating or drinking, it meant to restrain ones temper and to live a life that can be an example of what a Christian should look and live like. It takes will power to let others see that you are at peace and not pulling out your hair at the first sign of trouble. “For the Lord is at hand,” suggests that we should live as though God is coming back today. This phrase gives the idea that we should be on our best behavior because we don’t want the Lord Jesus to come and we are not prepared to stand before Him.
Pray About Everything With Thanksgiving
“Be careful for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” The word “careful” means to be anxious. Some translations read, “Be anxious about nothing.” It does not mean that we should not be concerned about worldly matters or the things that are important to us, i.e., family, finances or health. It means don’t worry. The apostle says, “by prayer and supplication.” The word supplication is a stronger word than prayer. It is a mode of prayer that derives from a sense of need or want. It is when we say; “Lord I need you to do this for me!” The apostle said we should do it with thanksgiving. One can always find something to be thankful for when one prays. In other words, show some gratitude when you pray. Let your request be made known unto God. Tell Him what your wants and concerns are not as though you are telling Him something that He does not know. He requires that we come and express them to Him.
Here it is! Paul tells us the results of doing these three things in verse 7: “And the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.” The peace Paul talks about is felt when we are not worrying. It is a peace that passeth all understanding. That is, man can’t conceive how you have obtained it. It is the peace of the highest possible kind. God has a peace which is nowhere else known. It’s crazy peace! It’s the kind of peace where people think you must be crazy. The kind of peace where people will look at you and know it’s nothing but God. It’s the kind of peace that makes you smile in the midst of the storm. It’s the kind of peace that keeps you smiling when other folk are crying. It’s the kind of peace that allows you to go home and sleep at night. IT shall keep your hearts and minds. The word “keep” is a military term, and means that the mind would be guarded as a camp or castle is. The text is saying that God’s peace will keep your hearts from heaviness and your minds from a meltdown!
Here is the clause in the contract: It is only found in Christ Jesus. This is why Jesus said in John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Final Thought: “Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you plenty to do but it doesn’t take you any where.”
Dr. Oscar T. Moses