Series: Freed: from Prison to Peace
Learning to be Content Whatever the Circumstances
June 28, 2020 | Mike Solorio
FREED: From Prison to Peace
“Content Whatever the Circumstance”
(Phil.4:10-23; 2 Kings 6:15-17)
STRENGTH AND SUPPLY
- In his letter to the Philippians, Paul wrote that he had learned how to be content in all circumstances. He also proclaimed that he could do all things through Christ who gave him strength, and that all his needs were supplied in Christ. In learning how to be courageous in our everyday lives, we can become content like Paul.
This is the essence of Courage: standing firm and refusing to be moved by trouble.
- We can be content because no matter the circumstance, we have strength and supply through Jesus. Our strength is the invisible working of Christ in us, and all our needs are supplied by the riches of His glory. In order to be courageous and stand firm in our faith, we must first embrace our invisible strength and unlimited supply in Him.
- In 2 Kings, the king of Aram sent forces to capture the prophet Elisha in the city of Dothan. His troops surrounded the city. Elisha’s servant came to him to tell him they were in great trouble. But Elisha prayed for his servant’s eyes to be opened, and the servant saw that there was an army of angels surrounding their enemies.
- Both Paul and Elisha had this ability to see the unseen. While Elisha faced physical danger from an army, Paul faced spiritual attacks in the church. Elisha prayed for his servant’s eyes to open and see God’s armies. Paul prayed for the eyes of our hearts to be enlightened so that we might know the hope to which we’re called.
- Elisha did not pray for God to send help. He prayed for the servant to see that help was already there. Sometimes, when we’re praying for God to show up, He wants to open our eyes to see that He’s already there.
SEE IT THROUGH
- In 2 Kings, God’s armies weren’t surrounding Elisha, protecting him from attack. God’s armies were surrounding Elisha’s enemies. We often wish that God’s armies would be between us and our enemies, but He’s surrounding us from the outside-in, assuring us that He’s in control!
- We can learn to see through our enemies to see God’s presence.
- Without struggle we would assume that the strength came from us instead of from God. But God wants to show Himself strong on our behalf by working in and through our weaknesses.
- It’s only through our weaknesses that we can clearly see the strengths God has given us. Skills that we don’t have can point us to strengths that we do. We just have to see it through.
- Just as Paul said that he learned to be content in all things, God will use our need to show us His supply.
- Our weaknesses and needs are the lenses God uses to show us His love. In the Old Testament, God sent the Law and the prophets to show His love, but His people rejected them. So then He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to show us His love on the Cross. The Cross is the place where God’s strength meets our weakness. It is the place where His supply meets our need. It is the place where His mercy and grace meet our sin and shame.
- We will learn how to be content no matter the circumstance, when we learn to see with the eyes of our hearts that our help is not on the way. Our help is already here in Jesus!
PERSONAL REFLECTION QUESTIONS:
Strength & Supply
What’s something you’re good at? What strengths has God given you that you’re proud of?
What are you not good at? What weaknesses do you wish you didn’t have?
Sometimes, it can be easier to seek God for help with our weakness than it is to thank God for our strength. Why do you think that is?
Have you ever been frustrated because you prayed for God to do something, but you couldn’t see how He was answering? What was that process like?
Both the Apostle Paul and the prophet Elisha had the ability to see beyond their circumstance to see God at work. Sometimes, it takes other people to help us see God’s presence in our difficulties. Who do you know that you can count on to help you “open your eyes” and see God? What do they help you see?
See it Through
Do you ever feel overwhelmed? What typically causes you to feel surrounded by trouble or worry?
READ: Psalm 121. “Help isn’t on the way; help is already here.” Take a deeper look at what you’re asking God for help with right now. What help is already with you?
We can be courageous no matter the situation because God is surrounding the troubles that surround us. What worries, fears, or difficulties are currently surrounding you? How is God surrounding them?
When (not if) God brings us through this, how will you be able to see Him and praise Him?