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Monday, August 24, 2015

In His Peace Find His Strength

I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12-13, NLT).

Without God we can never know contentment and peace. Nothing in this hectic world can offer such peace―no possession, no person, no joyful anticipation. Only God promises spiritual contentment and peace, and that is something the world can never give. Paul wrote that he had learned the secret of living in every circumstance. The NIV speaks of that secret of living as being content in every circumstance. Whether that circumstance was joyful and inspiring or hard and discouraging, Paul knew contentment and peace.

Paul's contentment came from a deeply intimate relationship with Jesus Christ and from fulfilling God's purpose in His life. He didn't want to be in prison, and he certainly didn't want to be dependent on others to provide for his needs. But, no matter what he faced, he was content. His eyes were not on what He was around him, but upon His Savior. God gave him peace, and a purpose to fulfill. Fulfilling His purpose only strengthened Paul's faith in God's provision. His incarceration could not stop him from trusting God to meet all his needs. His chains could not keep him from writing of God's great goodness. He had learned the secret of being content in every circumstance. 

Often we discover that many things are just impossible for us. We cannot find contentment and peace in our circumstances. Struggling doesn't help. Anger at others for what is happening doesn't help. But there is a peace that passes our human understanding (Philippians 4:6-7). When we know God as intimately as Paul, we can give Him all that rages in our life, and take refuge in Him. Paul's life shows us that is it absolutely possible to have peace and contentment when we trust God. The secret is to know God intimately and completely. 

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart,” Jesus said, “and the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27, NLT). “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows, but take heart because I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, NLT). God's peace is not dependent upon what the world or circumstances offer. We will have trouble in this life, but we do not need to fear. He has over overcome whatever we face. When we seek Him with all of our being, we will find Him and discover His peace. We realize that nothing is impossible for Him. We can boldly face whatever is to come with His peace and His purpose. Just as Paul, we can rise up and do whatever God calls us to do. All things are possible through Jesus Christ who gives us the strength to accomplish it.

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