Do Not Worry About Anything

Hey, there!

Philippians 4:6 actually tells us this! Even to a vast number of Christians this may seem like ‘pie-in-the-sky’ rhetoric.   For so many, worrying is such an enormous part of every day living that not to do so would even seem ‘non-realistic’ and ‘inhuman’. And, in a way it is because the Holy Spirit  enables us to go beyond being ‘human’ in this regard. Philippians 4:7 says:

“And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

There are actually a number of very good reasons why so many of us believers do not enjoy this ‘supernatural peace’, as it were, and to be able to overcome the debilitating fear of worrying.

One is that we have to: “in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6 HCSB). CONTINUAL prayer and petition is required, along with THANKSGIVING! We should not just dwell on the problem(s) that is looming at the moment but also be remembering how we have been blessed in so many ways at the same time.

And, maybe more importantly, another is we cannot expect to receive this ‘peace and freedom from worrying’ if we are not CONTINUALLY  looking to God and Christ Jesus even when there are no major problems in existence or on the horizon! Our Father and our Savior cannot be used as a ‘light switch’….turn to Them when we need Them (on) and mostly ignore Them when things are going fine (off) (please reference the Category “Hip Pocket God” for more on this).

It comes back to what should be our mainstay in our Christian walk: looking to God and Christ Jesus our every waking moment! Please reference the Category “Practicing The Presence Of God” on this subject as well as “Pray On The Potty”.

As well, always remember that NOTHING comes our way without God’s and Christ Jesus’ permission. This is clearly shown in the book of Job where Christ Jesus (He was God in the Old Testament) gave permission to Satan to bring trials on to Job. They ALWAYS approve the trials we experience for our own benefit (Romans 8:28) and NOTHING tries us that we are not properly fitted to handle (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Finally, keep in mind that the ‘problem’ may not go away if God and Jesus determine that it is for our benefit that it remain, as was the case with Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”. However, joyfully, we can deal with it while still experiencing “the peace of God, which surpasses every thought”!!

UPDATE 01/26/2015: This is an excerpt from Oswald Chambers’ 10/27/2015 entry in his book “My Utmost For His Highest” (please reference the Category by this same title for info on how to get this wonderful writing  free online.):

“I say to you, do not worry about your life….” Our Lord says to be careful only about one thing— our relationship to Him. But our common sense shouts loudly and says, “That is absurd, I must consider how I am going to live, and I must consider what I am going to eat and drink.” Jesus says you must not. Beware of allowing yourself to think that He says this while not understanding your circumstances. Jesus Christ knows our circumstances better than we do, and He says we must not think about these things to the point where they become the primary concern of our life.”

Take care in Christ.

Fred

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For When I Am Weak….I Am Strong

Hi, there! The verse noted above from 2 Corinthians 12:10 is one of the most wonderful and reassuring truths in all of Scripture! Let’s look at a few examples that illustrate this so well.

– Jesus, in His human form, was Himself crucified out of “weakness” (2 Corinthians 13:4)….yet, look how strong He was and what He accomplished by the power of God, and is also now living by this same power.

– Paul says in the same verse that we are also “weak” with Him, but God’s power is likewise for us. Thank goodness God calls the “weak” and “foolish”!! (1 Corinthians 1:27, 4:10)

– Paul is also an excellent example of how God and Christ choose the weakest and the “less than the least of all saints” to become powerful and fruitful by the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 3:8)

The transliterated Greek word “astheneo” in this verse literally means: powerless, weak, sick, feeble and  needy. It not only refers to physical weaknesses (such as Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”, his bodily presence being “weak” and his speech “contemptible”….2 Corinthians 10:10) but to mental handicaps as well as emotional ones (for example, Peter’s fear from peer pressure at Antioch when he had to be confronted by Paul….Galatians 2:11-14).

– Paul recounts in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 how after asking God to remove his “thorn in the flesh” three times, God responded with “Sufficient for you is My grace, for MY POWER IS PERFECTED IN WEAKNESS (emphasis mine).”

Paul then goes on to say how he will not only delight in his physical infirmity but ” I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Paul adds in 2 Corinthians 11:30: “If I must boast, I will be boasting in that which is of my weakness.”

– Paul was made powerful and fruitful by God and Christ while he had his”infirmity” (weakness) in the flesh in Galatia. Galatians 4:13

– Paul was made powerful and fruitful by God and Christ among the Corinthians even though “in weakness and fear and much trembling”. 1 Corinthians 2:3

– 1 Corinthians 15:43 clearly indicates that our bodies are sown in weakness, and this we will have to contend with until  “it is raised in power” (same verse).

– Romans 8:26 says that we are weak even in our ability to pray properly, but also reveals how God, once again, steps in and provides for us: “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness ; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Please also reference the POST: “Dry Prayer And Monkey Chatter”)

I really like Galatians 4:27 as it pretty much sums up how God and Christ delight in enabling us to be powerful and fruitful in our weaknesses, disadvantages, infirmities, being desolate, lacking  in personal abilities, etc., etc. and etc.:

`Rejoice, O barren, who are not bearing; break forth and cry, you who are not travailing, because many [are] the children of the desolate — more than of her having the husband.’

Please reference the Post “Feel The POWER” to balance out this discussion concerning our weaknesses.

See you later,

Fred

2 Corinthians 12

Greetings!   This morning I thoroughly enjoyed reading the 12th chapter of Corinthians. Speaking of the Scriptures, in the early days of Christianity, many saints probably had none, or just a few, of the holy writings….and, it is estimated the majority could not even read.  Not to worry, God always makes everything a level playing field….somehow, their spiritual needs were provided for without the scriptures.

Paul had quite a trip….going to the 3rd heaven! In those days, the 1st heaven was the earth’s atmosphere , the 2nd the starry sky and the 3rd was God’s abode. Paul got a taste of just how unimaginable it  is what God holds in store for us….”eye has not seen nor ear heard  the glorious things that await those Whom He loves”.

But, Paul had to pay a price for his visit. Even someone of Paul’s spiritual statute needed a ‘thorn in the flesh’ to keep him humble because of what he experienced…this really amazes me! Nevertheless, he was able to delight in his infirmity after God’s reasoning was revealed to him.

Paul prayed 3 times concerning his infirmity, with no relief, and Jesus prayed 3 times during His trial, also with no relief. There is probably a lesson here.

Concerning Paul’s affliction, this reveals how God wisely uses Satan’s antics (he was the one who brought the infirmity to Paul) for His  eventual Holy purpose and our benefit. Satan can do nothing without God’s permission (as illustrated by Job’s trial),  and it always results in our benefit.

How encouraging it is that we are actually at our ‘prime’ to be used by God when we are at our weakest.   God does make the wisdom of this world look foolish with His mysterious ways.

Even though the Corinthians were the notorious  ‘wild bunch’ with all their problems, Paul loved them dearly….a disposition made possible only by his having the Holy Spirit. But, he could administer ‘tough love’ when the occasion required it.

Until later, take care in Him.

Fred