Don’t worry. Be happy. As simple as it sounds, most of us know that it’s hard not to worry sometimes. And happiness isn’t always easy to come by either. But what if I said that there was some biblical truth to this well-known saying? According to Scripture, it is possible to experience peace in every circumstance of life. And Jesus instructed us not to worry, but to trust that God is a good Father who provides for His children.
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Paul had peace no matter what life threw his way. Even when some tried to stone him to death for preaching the Gospel, he found reasons to rejoice in all God was doing. (Acts 14:19-28) He often had no idea where he would be sleeping at night or where his next meal would come from, yet he wrote the following:
…for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 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 4:11-13
Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. – 1 Timothy 6:6-8
There are three key takeaways from Paul’s life when it comes to living a life of peace in every circumstance.
- Complete trust in God to provide… It’s difficult to worry when you have complete trust in God. In fact, it’s impossible. Worry is simply the result of a lack of trust. Let me put it this way. My children are young and have complete trust in their parents to provide for them. They don’t worry whatsoever about food, clothing, shelter… the basic needs of life. In these areas of their lives, there is complete peace.
Do you trust God as your Father to work everything together for good? Do you trust Him to provide for your needs?
- Contentment in all that God has provided… Contentment is a funny thing. Paul spoke of being content in both richness and poverty. Truth be told, I almost think it’s harder to be content in wealth. We live in a culture that always wants more… the next latest and greatest thing.
What would happen if we lived in such a way that we were truly content in every circumstance? How would this affect our ability to experience peace in our lives?
- Confidence in who God is and that His plan will prevail… Paul knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that God’s will would be carried out to completion… that God would be glorified no matter what happened to him in this life.
I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. – Philippians 1:20-21 (NIV)
When we commit ourselves to the truth that to live is Christ and to die is gain, we will experience God’s peace in every circumstance of our life.
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.