For #TBT This devotional has been one of the most viewed when my blog was on blogspot.com. I thought I'd share it again.
Here are a few of the well-used excuses: "I'm a victim of circumstances. "The situation is impossible." "The circumstances are beyond my control." "Under the circumstances"...fill in the blank.
Funny how principles, self-control, and positive thinking can go out the window when we're "under the circumstances." And lest you think the author is above blaming circumstances, she is not. I've used most of the excuses above, whether spoken or unspoken.
An imprisoned and wrongly accused Jewish Christian talked a lot about circumstances in a letter to some men and women in the ancient city of Philippi roughly 2,000 years ago. If there was ever a situation you could get upset about or bitter over, this was it. He was a Roman citizen, awaiting trial that for one reason or another didn't materialize for about two years. His rights had been trampled upon. He'd been bad-mouthed by so-called friends and beaten.While writing the letter he was under house arrest, at the mercy of the Roman government, dependent on friends for housing, food, everything. Life itself was uncertain and he knew it. He'd had a lot of bad circumstances before that and more would follow after the writing of the letter.
He was surprisingly unaffected by what was going on, demonstrating confidence and peace. Here's what he said about the situation:
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 NLT
He encouraged the men and women to do the same:
Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4 NLT
I think this was Paul's secret of living in "every situation." I'm still learning that secret. God is never under the circumstances and He is the Source of peace, who guards our hearts and minds. With Him, the circumstances don't have to matter. That's good news because unknown conditions are ahead.