Philippians 4: 4 – 7
Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I will say rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
“I wouldn’t say (or do) this in church”, the instructor would say before each of his slightly off- colored examples during the workshop. Words and actions appropriate during the week were apparently different from what he acted like in church on Sundays. As I listened to this man’s lecture, I wondered how he modeled a life of faith for his two children.
This true example illustrates the major reason why so many teens, raised in Christian homes, leave their faith when they leave home for college or work. They learn one set of instructions in church and witness something different the rest of the week. They hear truth but do not see it walked out. In the end, they leave behind something they had come to consider powerless in making a true difference.
Nowhere is this more apparent and impressionable than in the attitudes moms and dads display, which influence their families more than we are inclined to believe. We complain and grumble instead of rejoicing in all things and we fret and worry instead of praying without ceasing. When it comes right down to it, worry is a life style contrary to faith, and not a result of circumstances. So is complaining.
Just as courage does not mean the absence of fear, a peaceful heart does not mean the absence of difficulties nor does thanksgiving mean the absence of disappointment!
The biggest issue that I face in life is when my reality does not line up with God’s truth. I usher out peace when I choose to complain rather than be thankful and I usher in anxiety when I choose to worry rather than pray. These contrasting attitudes cannot co-exist. An effort to maintain both makes me disjointed and discouraged because “the double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1: 7)
What would our homes be like if we sincerely and consistently lived by these two simple commands: to rejoice in all things and to be anxious about NO thing. God promises a peace that surpasses all understanding that will guard our hearts and minds and He promises wisdom from above. A home built on this supernatural peace results in relationships that are “pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere”. WOW!
You kids will be drawn to Christ as they see and sense His abiding presence in your lives. They need to see that you really believe what you say you believe. The work of salvation in my heart has everything to do with Jesus but the walk of salvation is my responsibility.
He does the working. I do the walking. God is sovereign but I am responsible and this includes my attitudes.
The soul that gives thanks can find comfort in everything. The soul that complains can find comfort in nothing. (Author unknown)
It is quite possible to be enchanted with Jesus Christ and with His truth and yet never be changed by it…….There is a real peril in being enchanted but unchanged. – Oswald Chambers
Remember that I am in the midst of you when you praise Me. Never let any kind of anxiety crowd out your praise. ..for anxiety produces tension, and tension erodes joy; and when joy is gone, victory is lost, truly, the coming of the Lord is near. Prepare yourselves and be strong; for it is the Lord who upholds you and He gives you the victory. Sing my children, and let the shout of praise be heard: For the Lord is mighty and His Name is glorious.” – Frances J. Roberts – Come Away My Beloved.
James 3:14 – If you have bitter jealously and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealously and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
I Thessalonians 5: 16-18 – “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.