Thought for the Day – Be Content and Endure
January 12, 2010
Philippians 4:4-13 (NKJV) 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 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 understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
What? The Apostle Paul wants you to rejoice? Doesn’t he know what you are going through? Hasn’t he seen your bank account or heard your cries? Doesn’t he watch the news?!
Well, no, he’s dead but if he weren’t he’d still say the same thing. Later on he tells you that he is going through his own tough times as he writes these words.
How do you guard your mind & heart when anxiety and fear attack them?
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
THINK about these things. DWELL on them. ESTEEM them and HOLD ON TO them.
The Apostle Paul says that if you do the God of peace will be with you. Inverse logic says that if you do not do them there will be no peace because your mind will not be where God can influence it.
KNOW these kinds of thoughts (true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable & things that are excellent and worthy of praise) or NO PEACE!
And, the peace that you will be given SURPASSES human understanding. I get so frustrated when I see that scripture misquoted as “the peace that passes understanding”. It’s not a rational peace. It’s an illogical peace that makes no sense because it comes from the Throne Room.
The Apostle Paul tells us why he knows this is true.
10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
He was going through his own financial and physical troubles when he wrote this.
Let’s get this straight – Paul did not patch tents because he liked it or wanted to do it. His heart’s desire was to preach the Gospel and build communities of Believers. However, some local churches he worked with were better at taking then giving and he had to survive by fixing and making tents. But, that did matter to him because his mind and heart were set on the things he knew from Above. He took his thoughts captive and had a mind that would not fear, fret or worry. He knew that the Lord was faithful and held on to the Promises of His Word. He could do that because he spent time in the Word, reading it and understanding it. He spent time in prayer WITH the Living Word, the Lord Jesus/Adonai Yeshua who gave the written word supernatural abilities.
The next group of scriptures always made me uncomfortable as a baby Christian.
11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
Two words there have always gotten my attention: content and abased.
Content means to be happy, satisfied, at ease. Abased means to be brought low, humbled, humiliated.
I liked the content part but being humiliated wasn’t something that excited me. I still feel the same way but understand why now!
In those two scriptures he gives us the synopsis of the Christian walk – to be happy, to be humbled, to have needs and to have more then we need. He is telling us that his peace is not dependent upon outward circumstances of the world. It’s based on the inward security and trust he has in the Living God. He knew he was in the world but not of the world.
How do I know that? He tells me in verse 13: 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
ALL THINGS! Not some things but ALL THINGS. In other words, he can do EVERYTHING and deal with EVERYTHING the world, the flesh and the devil can throw at him because he gets his strength from the Lord. The Greek word used for strengthen is endunamoō en-doo-nam-o’-o to empower:—enable, (increase in) strength (-en), be (make) strong.
Why is this power to endure the things the Apostle Paul is talking about so important to our walk and our life in 2010? I’ll let the One who will sustain you answer this question.
Mark 4:3-9 (NKJV) 3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air[a] came and devoured it. 5 Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. 7 And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. 8 But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”
9 And He said to them,[b] “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
Can you hear what He is saying to you?
Mark 4:14-20 (NKJV) 14 The sower sows the word. 15 And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. 16 These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17 and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble. 18 Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, 19 and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20 But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”
There is a thief out there given the name Satan but its every member of his dark kingdom. They exist to steal your peace, steal your joy, steal your blessings and steal the Word from your heart & mind if they can. Get rooted and grounded in the written Word (Logos) and the Living Word (Rrhema). Drive those roots deep with the Living Water of the Holy Spirit. Cultivate it and protect it. When the trials and tribulation we’ve been warned of come you will still be fruitful and won’t be washed away in the floods of despair that are coming.
Listen to what the Lord says to the church at Philadelphia:
Revelation 3:10-13 (NKJ V) 10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 Behold,[a] I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.
13 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’
If you have no joy, have no peace, are filled with anxiety or fear over your circumstances or your life, you will not endure the days ahead. Make a choice today to guard your heart & mind from anything that comes to do them harm. Even the smallest thing can begin to destroy the peace and contentment you seek. Even the slightest complaint or negative word from your lips will start the rot that will destroy the Vine of Life given to you by the Lord.
Let NOTHING – NO THING natural or supernatural – hinder you from enduring to the end.
If the Apostle Paul were here this is what he would say to you today:
“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—be JOYFUL BECAUSE OF HIM! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about ANYTHING; instead, pray about EVERYTHING. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has already done. When you do that, you will experience God’s peace, which EXCEEDS ANYTHING WE CAN UNDERSTAND. His peace WILL GUARD YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS as you LIVE in Christ Jesus. Remember, YOU CAN DO EVERYTHING and DEAL WITH EVERYTHING because of the supernatural, spiritual strength GIVEN TO YOU BY THE LORD HIMSELF!
And to that I would say, “Amen!”
Shalom & Blessings,Richard J Grund
And through the hands of the apostles
many signs and wonders were done among the people.
And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch.
(Acts 5:12 NKJV)
P.O. Box 713 Windermere, FL 34786-0713