This week’s blog post is a soulful and heartfelt dedication to those family members, friends, and associates who are facing life’s greatest challenges. You know the ones, those unwelcomed and unwanted life challenges that always come at the wrong time, the ones that force each of us to ask the question, how do I learn to rejoice in my Faith when I struggle with the inner and external realities of hopelessness; sickness, fear of death, soul damage, isolationism, and apathy?
In my personal meditation on Wednesday of this week, a friend of mine, was inspired to submit a very timely Biblical reference of Philippians 4:1-23 to me as a means of spiritual encouragement as I too face all of the pros and cons of when”life just happens.” I was blessed after reading the entire chapter again, thus I was moved to share some of the observations and spiritual interpretations of this passage to those who are fighting the good Fight of Faith in their lives.
Our Triumph is In Messiah!
During most of this week, as a man of faith, and as a healthcare professional, I have witnessed and have participated intimately with a seemingly increasing amount of people grappling with matters that are threatening their physical, mental, financial and spiritual existence.
I have been very humbled and forever blessed to witness first hand, the inner dynamics of the intricacies of the fight and or flight impulse of the human will, as people during this most challenging times, are asked to make very painful and difficult choices that will have lasting positive or negative consequences in their lives.
On the other side of the equation, I have sadly witnessed the painful truth when other souls lack the capability to filter through all of the life-altering circumstances that are threatening their very existence in matters of choices to live or die. Just how do we learn to find how to be content regardless of the circumstances?
The answer lies deep within the on-going theme in the Book of Philippians of “Being United with Messiah.” Christ must become our chief source of Joy in everything that we experience in our living. This reality is even more truthful in our times of affliction, distress, and persecution. He is and will always be unchanging throughout our spiritual union in Him regardless of our human experiences.
Such a spiritual union guarantees to the follower that His Grace is sufficient, and that His Blood has not lost its virtue! This is the only place under the sun that is the resting place for a faithful follower to find the freeing realities of peace and pardon.
Within His Righteousness, which is everlasting, the follower can embrace all of the really most important things for our living on earth, namely salvation and acceptance to God as one of His Children. Often times we only learn this very hard lesson when we are sick or have the loss of people, places, and things that we have esteemed as important when things were going “our way!”
Praising The Heavenly Father
God’s Children are required to co-exist peacefully within a very arrogant, proud and boastful godless culture. A culture where each of us is conditioned that we have given National or ethnic rights and entitlements that must be integrated into our lives in order for our living to not be in vain. If and when these “things” are not present, we have no recourse but to take what we perceive as ours by any means necessary.
For the Believer, we must be willing to negate if not cast aside, all things that hinder our spiritual maturity and our personal relationship in Christ. In a capitalistic culture where tribalism and nationalism shape the identity of most citizens, this discipline is very hard to master for most.
Children of God are encouraged to practice moderation by living before this evil generation, a meek and modest lifestyle as it pertains to our relational interactions and personal dealings with our fellow Brothers and Sisters, as it is with the general population.
Ones calling into discipleship with The Master will eventually lead the follower to fulfill the commission to live out loud, aspects of Kingdom related living that is counter-culture. This too is not as easy as it sounds! Lord, please grant each of us the required grace and discipline to become expert practitioners of this calling.
[In the same way, Let your good deeds shine out for all to see so that Everyone will praise your Heavenly Father. Matthew 5:16.]
We are to be well informed and aware that we are not to permit anyone that we contend with to confuse our willful practice of meekness as a sign of passivity and or weakness! By no means is there anything weak about living and dying for The Kingdom of God! Amen.
For yes there are many times where we are encouraged to “give way” or “yield up our rights and due” for the sake of Peace, nevertheless, there are times where one must “stand Your Spiritual Ground” to all of the eternal things that represent the will and plan of God and His Kingdom.
Yielding not unto Anxiousness
Did you not know that Our Lord God is in the midst? His mighty hand is at work in all of His creation. He is near us in every way for He sees, observes and conducts all of the lives of those who have experienced regeneration throughout His Earth.
For only our Heavenly Father has personally eternally committed to all of the interactions of those who are in Covenant with Him. Psalm 145:19 affirms this promise by reminding each believer that “The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in Truth.”
As each of us purposefully maintains a healthy spiritual relationship with God through our faithful fellowship in The Messiah, God has committed that He is a present help in times of trouble [Psalm 46:1].
Beloved of God, we are not to yield unto psycho-emotional counter-productive condition of hyper-anxiousness. Have you and I forget that it is our Heavenly Father who will avenge His elect while also vindicating their cause, as He also, right all of their wrongs in His chosen time frame?
We are commanded to keep our peace by permitting God to fight our battles while we are required to maintain our spiritual faithfulness. It is God and not us that is to judge everyone and to convict all of them of all ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinner have spoken... [Jude 1:15]
Be Careful for Nothing
As follower of The Messiah, we have been admonished to be not anxious in our personal quest for “worldly things” as in doing so, we will inherit an unhealthy psychic quest at pursuing the things of this world. Such an unwise ambition quickly will lead to the lack of peace and contentment.
Our peace and fulfillment are made possible in to what extent are we willing to permit our Heavenly Father the right at providing and meeting our needs or the lack thereof!
Whether one of us is blessed with an increase or one of us must suffer loss, we are encouraged by the Spirit and the Word of Truth to cast our cares and concerns upon the Lord constantly, each moment, each day, each year for the entire duration of our spiritual journey on Earth!
Wherever we find ourselves in our spiritual quest toward wholeness and maturity, we must become highly skilled practitioners of prayer and supplication. For it really does not matter if your prayers are mental, vocal, public or private, it does not matter if they are ordinary or extra-ordinary, man we are Commanded To PRAY without Ceasing!!!
We are to pray of things good and or wised for according to The Good and Perfect Will of our Heavenly Father. Likewise we are to pray begging God to protect, alert and destroy our lives from the systemic evils that are being revealed at present.
Beloved of God know that God is near us, we can faithfully and thankfully have confidence in our prayers based upon our personal history in our receiving His grace and mercy throughout our relationship with Him past, present, and future!
In closing, let each of us be encouraged at remaining forever yoked to The Messiah, with all of our mind, heart, soul and spirit. For the peace of God is unlike any other peace that the world or we have for ourselves when “life happens in our lives.”
God’s Shalom springs from The Master. For it is He who is the donor of this priceless gift throughout our lives upon the earth. This spiritual gift passes the limited understanding of all humanity.
For it is the Will of Our Heavenly Father to endow this covenant of Shalom upon those of us who are faithful seekers and followers of Messiah. Christ is our Peacemaker forever because of His willful obedience upon the Cross for sinful humanity now and forever more. Amen.
Grace and Peace