“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
Philippians 4:9-14 (NIV)
9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
10 I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.
11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.
Paul experienced times of plenty and times of want as he traveled all over preaching the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. On different occasions, he had found himself both well fed and hungry. Yet regardless of the circumstances, he was not dismayed, but he was in a state of peace. How could he be contented in the midst of hunger and want? How indeed, seeing he put his trust in his Father God?
Many people’s moods, on the other hand, are completely governed by their circumstances, including some Christians. If things are going well, they are happy, but if things are not going their way they either wail or whine or get angry. When things are going well, they get a prideful attitude, but when they go badly, they get bitter, crying, “Why me?” All these things are an indication to us that we are dealing with an immature person unstable and unreliable.
We need to get a revelation that God is on our side at all times. Even if we go through trying times, He is always close by to take us through to the other side. We must put our confidence in Him at all times, regardless of our circumstances, because He will not let us down. The bible does not promise us a flowery path or a bed of roses, but it does promise us that the Lord will be with us at all times, and in all circumstances, to bring us through!
Psalm 34:19 (NKJ)
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
This verse says that the Lord delivers us out of all our troubles, afflictions, adversity, calamity, and distress. Why does it seem as if some Christians get delivered and others don’t? What is the difference? The difference is attitude!
1Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)
18 . . . give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
No matter where you find yourself – in whatever circumstances you find yourself, give thanks to God. We don’t have to thank God for all the hard things we go through, but we must be thankful to God in these things. When we have a positive attitude, it is amazing how things begin to work out. No matter what the devil tries to do to you, God can turn the situation around for good. You can be all the richer for the hard things you endured.
James 1:2-4 (NKJ)
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
When you go through trials, the most important thing you can have is patience. Paul displayed patience when he was contented in all the circumstances he found himself in, knowing that God had it under control and would bring him through. He knew that he could do all things through Christ who strengthened him. He did not allow the ups and downs of life to govern his moods, but he kept his heart fixed on God, he kept his mind stayed on the Word, and walked in perfect peace!