“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything in prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
This is one of the most often quoted passages in the Bible. These are but two verses out of a four chapter letter. Sometimes, we quote verses without the full context of the particular verses. Do you notice that these verses are toward the end of this great inspired letter? Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, gave instructions throughout this letter to teach us “up” to these last powerful verses.
Key #1 To Peace – Do Not Let Circumstances Control You (Philippians 1:12-18)
Paul, as many other 1st century Christians, was put in prison for preaching the truth. Paul also had ministers who were envious of his success, which he attributed to Christ and not himself. They often preached, not to spread the word, but to compete with and discredit Paul. But while in prison, how did Paul react? Did Paul pout by saying “poor little me, the others are free?” Did he resort to that humanism of self-pity and utter the famous words “why me”? No. He gave glory to God because he was now able to preach the gospel to the imperial government of Rome! He took the “obstacle” and turned it into an opportunity.” Also, he was not worried about preachers who preached for the wrong reason. He was glad that the gospel itself was being preached.
We should never allow circumstances to control us. We must maintain our faith in God. Circumstances are literally things that “circle our stance.” Think about standing on a sidewalk by a light post. The wind is blowing paper and dust all around your head. What do we do in that case? We grab on to the light post and hold on. This is what we must do with our circumstances. We must hold on to Jesus (our stance) and not be blown about by the dust and papers of life.