Friday, February 23, 2018

February 24, 2018

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" Philippians 4:4

The first appearance of anxiety happened in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. Deceived by the serpent they rebelled against the Sovereignty of God and sought to take control of their own lives. Their lives became complicated in a hurry and spun out of control.

Anxiety is not only a product of rebellion against God's Sovereignty but it increases as we continue to resist His Sovereignty over our lives.

As Paul wrote these encouraging words of counsel to the Philippians he found himself deep in a dark, musty, cold Roman prison chained to a Roman soldier at all times. He was awaiting trial before a strongly biased anti-Christian court fully aware that his earthly fate rested on the whim of a psychotic Christian hating Emperor named Nero.

And he told them to "rejoice in the Lord always"? Was he serious?

How can this be?

Though Paul despised his circumstances at the time he wrote those words, he still was filled with hope and shared the source of his hope with these Christians in the Church of Philippe. Here's the encouragement he sought to give to these believers.

“Rejoice” = “Constantly celebrate and revel”
“In the Lord” = “His character and His sovereignty”
always” = “No expiration date”
“Again I say rejoice”

So, when life gets really hard and beyond your control you can continue trying to get it under your control or you can decide, as Paul did, to surrender control of your circumstances to the Sovereignty of God and rejoice in His love and power.

Learn from Paul in these verses and surrender control of your life to God and then control what is within your meager power. What you can control is your attitude, your decisions, the acts of your will and your surrender to the will of God. Then learn to trust God for all the rest of your needs!

Here's what taking control of your emotions, your attitudes and decisions might look like when the rest of your life is under God's control:

1) Don’t deny your feelings – defy them
2) Even if you dismay – obey
3) When urged to control – commit to His control
4) Allow Scripture to define reality not your suffering
5) View your pain through His promises
6) Counter despair with prayer
7) Serve the Lord with gladness
8) Sing songs that strengthen your spirit
9) To rejoice “in the Lord” you must be “in the Lord”
Do you know the Lord as your personal Savior?


Anxiety is a DECISION not a PRISON!

When you decide to control what you can and SURRENDER EVERYTHING ELSE TO HIS CONTROL you are on the road to relief from ANXIETY!

At this moment, what fear, anxiety, worry is “Choking the breath” out of you? What is it that “squeezing” the joy, the hope, energy out of you?