There are times in life when the pressure is so intense that we just can’t handle it and we flip out. I mean, how much can a person take? Aren’t we allowed to let off some steam at times? We’re human, are we not? But if you were to ask the apostle Paul, he would show you a healthier way to survive the perfect storms of life. And who better to share than someone suffering innocently from a dark and dank Roman prison cell? In Philippians chapter four, Paul shares four key principles to keep from flipping out:
- PAUL LEARNED TO MAINTAIN A REJOICING SPIRIT AT ALL TIMES. (Phil 4:4) Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! This is probably the most unnatural thing to do in distress, but the Holy Spirit will help us. Keep rejoicing. Keep counting your blessings. Keep thankful. It’s a choice we must make to keep our spirits up and avoid slipping into despair. (1 Thes 5:18) in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
- PAUL TURNED ALL HIS ANXIETIES OVER TO THE LORD (TO THE LAST DETAIL) TO SECURE GOD’S PEACE. (Phil 4:6-7) 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. Pray about everything that concerns you. Don’t let anxiety take hold in the crevices of your inner life. Keep clear from mental and emotional clutter. Turn it over before you get pushed over!
- PAUL LEARNED TO BE CONTENT IN ALL OF LIFE’S CIRCUMSTANCES THROUGH CHRIST STRENGTHENING HIM. (Phil 4:11-13) 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. It is natural to complain and whine, but what good does it do? Accept your circumstances and receive strength from above to rise to the jet stream of God’s love and grace.
- PAUL TRUSTED THE LORD TO MEET ALL OF HIS NEEDS FROM HIS LIMITLESS RESOURCES. (Phil 4:19) And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Jesus taught us to not worry about our needs being met or not. (Mat 6:25-34) God provides for the birds and the flowers. How much more does He love and provide for His cherished children? Our greatest need of salvation has been supplied through Christ on the cross. Won’t God provide for all the other things of life? (Rom 8:32) He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
The next time you feel like flipping out, turn to Philippians four and rehearse the key components of not only surviving, but thriving in Christ!