Tag Archives: rejoice

Who is in Control

 

WHO IS IN CONTROL

By Carolyn Dale Newell

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say, rejoice!

Philippians 4:4 NKJV

When the bills are coming due, but not the paycheck. When the unexpected illness occurs. When everything around the house falls apart, including your relationships. When your kids are traveling up and down the interstate. Who is in control of it all?

I hope it isn’t you, and I hope it isn’t me either. Ah… but we want to be in the captain’s seat Because when we’re not in charge, we worry.

We are forgetting one important fact. Something you probably already know, but we tend to need a reminder. God is in control. Did you just utter a sigh of relief? I know I did. What a load off our backs. God controls the out-of-control life that we cannot control.

It is impossible to worry when we rejoice. We cannot be anxious while we praise the Lord. When we recite His attributes, our confidence soars.

God is creator and sustainer. We can bless the Lord for His love and tender mercies. We can smile as we shout about His grace, strength, and joy. We can praise Him for His peace. We can worship Him in victory.

Turn your worry into worship. Let’s begin by counting our blessings. That should take so long that we won’t remember what we were worried about in the first place.

If you have breath in your lungs, you are blessed. If you are healthy, you are blessed. Maybe your health isn’t great, but somebody has it much worse, so yes, you are blessed. If you have a roof over your head, you are blessed. If you have paid your bills, you are blessed. If you haven’t paid your bills yet, you are still blessed, because God said He would supply our every need (Phil. 4:19). If you have a job, you are blessed. If you don’t have a job, thank God for the door He will open.

Now, what was bothering us? God is in complete control, so stop trying to do His job. No wonder we get stressed. We are trying to do the work of God, something we were never equipped to handle.

Our instructions are to rejoice. It doesn’t say rejoice about your struggles. We will have trouble in this world. Jesus told us that. Our verse says:

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say, rejoice!

We rejoice in spite of our trials, not instead of them. Jesus Christ is our joy.

Don’t continue to allow tribulations, the world, people, and the devil to snatch your joy. Cast your cares on Jesus, and turn your worry into worship.

Father God, we rejoice today because You have it all under control. We can rest in the comfort of knowing You’ve got it. Help me remember this truth when I am inclined to pick up my life’s remote control. You are the Captain of my salvation. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Philippians 4:4—9.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Today, make a quick list of everything you can thank God for. Keep it handy (on the fridge or phone) and refer to it the next time you become troubled.

The Marks of Jesus

THE MARKS OF JESUS

By Carolyn Dale Newell

 From now on let no one trouble me,

For I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.

Gal. 6:17 (NKJV)

Beatings, stoning, shipwreck? Most of us have not suffered these things for serving Christ. Rejection, broken relationships, and job loss are the more common types of persecution that we face today. The key to all of this is our attitude. Do we endure the marks of Christ with joy and contentment?

The Apostle Paul certainly suffered for the cause of Christ. A list of his sufferings is in 2 Corinthians 11:23b-28: “labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness- besides the other things…”

All this suffering and yet he wrote that we should rejoice always and be anxious for nothing. He also said that he had learned to be content in any state (Phil. 4:4, 6, 10, 11).

I have not suffered as Paul did, but we can look to Paul as a shining example of one trusting in God’s sovereignty and power.

Persecution towards Christians is increasing. I pray that the Lord will come before we have to suffer as Paul did. Whether imprisonment or stoning, we must face persecution with the faith of Paul, for when there is faith, there is no fear.

Lord Jesus,

Help us face persecution with the spirit of Paul. With contentment and rejoicing, and without fear. We trust You, and we count it a privilege to suffer for You. Increase our faith so that our fears will not exist. In Jesus’ name, amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Phil. 4:4-13. Paul penned this from prison.

HIKING THE TRAIL

What types of persecution have you faced? Pray, asking God to increase your trust in Him so you will not continue in fear and anxiety.

Copyright 2015 Carolyn Dale Newell.