Many of us let trials define us.
- It can be financial issues…“I am being smothered under a pile of debt.”
- Many of our problems have been caused by poor personal decisions. This results in poor self-talk. Poor self-talk breeds anxiety and anxiety births depression. Now, you can’t get out of web of personal darkness which is being spun by depression.
- Others of us are going through harsh times caused by decisions made by someone else…spouse or child who made bad choices, unfairly fired from your job, a company that decided to shut down your division at work, wrongfully incarcerated being set up by others or by an ill prepared attorney.
- You may be handicapped whether by birth or the result of an accident or an intentional act from someone else.
- Some have contracted a disease that is debilitating, painful and physically humbling.
- Others of may be in an abusive environments of which are difficult to separate.
- On and on we can go. Each of these situations are awful and hurtful.
There is a powerful, brief book of four chapters in the Bible that can be encouraging no matter how dire or dark or hurtful or painful your problems may be…the book written by Paul to the Philippines. You may ask, “Why do you say this?” Here are the reasons. Paul was aging and had been wrongfully, unfairly thrown into prison. Let me assure you that these “digs” were not the decent environments of current jails…no air conditioning, without restroom facilities, dim lighting, if flooring it was dirty, etc. Furthermore, he knew that a death sentence loomed in the near future. What a horrible environment!
However, Paul did not let his trials define Him. Note some of the verses he penned in this book:
- Philippians 1 3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
- Philippians 1 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
- Philippians 2 14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life.
- Philippians 3 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
- Philippians 4 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
- Philippians 4 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
- Philippians 4 11 I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
- Philippians 4 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.