This weekend my husband wrapped up our teaching series, Don’t Be A Victim. In it, he has helped us tweak our thinking regarding dealing with the difficulties of life. Our goal is to avoid a victim mentality when life doesn’t go our way. Rather than moaning about what we don’t have or throwing pity parties when we mess up, Scripture teaches us to choose a different response, to choose a different perspective on our circumstances – to focus on God and choose contentment.
The messages have been inspiring and motivating, and more than a few key verses have challenged me to reevaluate my outlook on life.
See what you think:
1. When faced with beatings and imprisonment for preaching about Jesus, Paul says this in Philippians 1:20, “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.” Rather than questioning God as to why he must suffer, Paul hoped he would be found courageous and faithful to honor God through his suffering. Paul didn’t say, “Woe is me!” He said, “Let me at ’em!”
2. Just a few verses later, Paul instructs his readers (that includes us!) to adopt his attitude: Philippians 1:27, “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” Did you catch that? He said whatever happens. No matter what situation we find ourselves in, Paul challenges us to keep our eyes on the prize….to bring glory and honor to God. That’s perspective shifting! Do we gripe because life let us down, or do we find ways to model faithfulness instead? I pray as we mature in our faith and followship of the Lord, we could say the latter.
3. Finally, Philippians 4:12-13 smacked me in the face. Right upside the head. “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have LEARNED (emphasis mine) the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through HIm who gives me strength.” Maybe you’ve heard these verses a thousand times, but I want you to key in on the word “learned.” Contentment is learned! It doesn’t come naturally! It doesn’t just happen! We must TRAIN ourselves to accept the pitfalls of life and respond in God-honoring ways…to be happy on the mountain top and in the valley. Are we learning? Or are we complaining?
Good food for thought, my friends. Little tidbits from the weekend services….that could change our entire lives if we allow it.
Click here if you’d like to watch the message for yourself!