by Dr. Charles Stanley
Saturday April 16, 2005
Overcoming the Ups and Downs of Life
Secrets. The very word catches our attention and makes us curious to know more. The apostle Paul proclaimed that he had learned an important secret: how to find contentment in all circumstances. "Not possible," is our first response; "That is not who I am." It wasn’t who Paul was, either. He had to learn the spiritual truths that enabled him to face his difficulties God's way—without discontent, worry, or fear. Each time he experienced a trial, he had a choice to look at it from his own perspective or from God's; that is, he could react emotionally to the situation, or he could respond spiritually.
Inner turmoil and outward agitation come when Christians live based on feelings instead of spiritual principles. When our desires and needs are not being fulfilled, we need to look at our circumstances from God's point of view. As we practice having this perspective, irritation, anger, and the need to place blame will be replaced by an inner quietness and confidence.
Is it really possible to face serious trials and have God's peace? Yes, but not in our own strength. The secret is learning to bring God's power into our weakness. This is accomplished through what we believe, not through what we do. Trusting that we have access to God's power through the Holy Spirit at all times for all situations is the first step to contentment.
When we accept Christ as our Savior, we receive the power to stand firm and be at peace. Paul said, "I can … through Christ." (v. 13) Is this what you believe?
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