I wanted to get a post out to everyone before leaving to attend the Hope for Addiction meeting tonight in Gilbert. Please be in prayer for our leadership team, for those from our community who could use this ministry, and for those in our church who need to see how the gospel is relevant to change all of our lives.
Let me just point out two quick principles from the last chapter of Philippians:
1. There is an inverse relationship between anxiety and joy. I realize that is no great or new insight, but when you really think about it, there is no way for you to be anxious and joyful at the same time. If you choose joy, you will not be anxious; if you choose anxiety, you will not be joyful. Paul opens this final chapter with a command to rejoice always. After dealing with a church conflict issue, he shifts to eliminating anxiety through prayer. Spurgeon said that as believers in Jesus, we should, “live with that holy carelessness which is the way of beauty of the Christian life – when all our care is cast on God and we can…rejoice in his providential care.”
2. We often misuse and misapply bible verses. I love sports and frequently I have seen football players use the artificial eyeblack strips that say “Phil. 4:13” which is, “I am able to do all things through him who strengthens me.” Unfortunately, this verse has nothing to do with God giving people the ability to play football. What it means is that through God’s strength, we will be able to endure all types and degrees of trials (take a look for yourself at the context). It is not positive thinking that makes such an attitude possible, but prayerful submission, childlike trust, and a strong future hope.