Romans 5:1“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our LordJesus Christ,” Romans 5:1“The peace of God" and the presence of "the God of peace" will come when thebeliever practices: right praying, right thinking, and right living.RIGHT PRAYING (4:6-7)Philippians 4:6-76 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication withthanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your heartsand your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7Right praying (v.6-7)“Thankful praying” pleases God and leads to having His peace in our lives thatsurpasses all understanding.RIGHT THINKING (4:8)
Philippians 4:88 “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right,whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is anyexcellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8Right thinking (v. 8)“Dwell on these things!”Peace involves the mind (Isaiah 26:3 and Romans 8:6).Isaiah 26:3“The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace.”Romans 8:6“the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.” Our thoughts are powerful; “As a man thinketh, so is he." Proverbs 23:7Wrong thoughts will lead to unrest and discouragement, but proper spiritual thinkingwill lead to peace. Paul tells us in this verse what to think about; if you compare the eight virtues found in Phil 4:8 to Psalm 19:7-9, you will see that the Word of God meets all of these requirements.Psalm 19:7-97 “The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure,making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; Thecommandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD isclean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true; They are righteousaltogether.” Psalm 19:7-9 Meditation on the Word of God will always bring peace.Psalm 119:165165 “Those who love Your law have great peace, And nothing causes them tostumble.” Psalm 119:165 1 Right praying (v6-7) Thankful praying 2 Right thinking (v8) from God’s word 3 Right living (v9)RIGHT LIVING (4:9)
Philippians 4:99 “The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice(live) these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:9Right living (Phil 4:9):If there is something in my life I dare not pray about, then I will never have peace. Right living always brings peace: Isa 32:17 & 48:18.Isaiah 32:1717 “The work of righteousness will be peace, and the service of righteousness,quietness and confidence forever.” Isaiah 32:17Isaiah 48:1818 “If only you had paid attention to My commandments! Then your peace wouldhave been like a river…” Isaiah 48:18It is not enough to use the Bible as a basis for praying and claiming its promises; wemust also use it as a basis for our living and obeying its precepts.John 14:2121 “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; andhe who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will discloseMyself to him.” John 14:21
Right living (Phil 4:9)James 4:1-11 says that: wrong praying (4:3), wrong living (4:4), and wrong thinking (4:8) bring war instead of peace!James 4:11 “What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source yourpleasures that wage war in your members?” James 4:1James 4:3 (Wrong praying)3 “You ask and do not receive,because you ask with wrong motives,so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” James 4:3
James 4:4 (Wrong living)4 “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility towardGod? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemyof God.” James 4:4James 4:8 (Wrong thinking)8 “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners;and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”James 4:1-11 says that: wrong praying (4:3), wrong living (4:4), and wrong thinking (4:8) bring war instead of peace!Philippians 4:6-9 says that: right praying (v6-7), right thinking (v8) and right living (v9) bring the peace of God!Warren Wiersbe’s summary: God’s Presence v 1-5 God’s Peace v 6-9 God’s Power v 10-13 God’s Provision v 14-23God’s PowerPhilippians 4:10-1310“But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concernfor me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity.11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatevercircumstances I am.12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live inprosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filledand going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.13 I can do all things through Him Who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:10-13
Philippians 4:10b“indeed, you were concerned before but you lacked opportunity.” Philippians 4:10bThe Philippians had generously supported him when he left Philippi to minister in thecities of Thessalonica, Berea, Athens and Corinth.Now, Epaphroditus arrived in Rome, bringing with him another generous gift from thePhilippians (4:18) for which Paul rejoiced in the Lord greatly.He rejoiced primarily not because the gift met his need, but because it gaveevidence of their love for him.His joy overflowed because now at last, after ten years, they had revived theirconcern for him.The Greek verb translated revived is a horticultural term describing a plant floweringagain.The Philippians generous affection for Paul, after lying dormant for nearly ten years,had once again bloomed.Pauls gracious attitude reflects his patient confidence in Gods sovereign providence.He was certain that God in due time would arrange his circumstances to meet hisneeds.There was no panic on his part, no attempt to manipulate people, no taking mattersinto his own hands.Paul was content because he knew that the times, seasons, and opportunities of lifeare controlled by the sovereign God “Who works all things after the counsel of His will"(Eph 1:11), thereby causing "all things to work together for good to those who loveGod, to those who are called according to His purpose" (Rom 8:28).
Those who seek to control their own lives will inevitably be frustrated.A confident trust in Gods providence is foundational to contentment. 1) Providence and 2) Miracle are the two ways God acts in the world.A miracle is Gods direct intervention into the natural world.It is an event so contrary to the normal course of events that there is no scientific ornaturalistic explanation for it other than the power of God.There is no natural insight to explain the parting of the Red Sea, restoring the sight ofthose blind from birth, or raising people from the dead.On the other hand, Gods providence is not miraculous in the sense that it does notinterrupt the natural order. Rather, it allows for all the contingencies, events, words,acts, decisions, and elements of normal life.God supernaturally weaves them all together to fit His purpose exactly.This is as supernatural as a miracle.
Solomon acknowledged Gods providential control over events when he wrote, "Themind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps" (Prov 16:9; 19:21).God providentially arranged for Joseph to rise to a high position in Egypt to preserveHis people.As Joseph explained to his brothers, "As for you, you meant evil against me, but Godmeant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many peoplealive" (Gen 50:20).
God also providentially arranged for Esther to be in a position to save Israel, asMordecai reminded her: "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance willarise for the Jews from another place and you and your fathers house will perish.And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?"(Esther 4:14).An understanding of Gods sovereign, providential control of events is critical tocontentment.Philippians 4:1111 “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatevercircumstances I am.” Philippians 4:11Lest the Philippians misunderstand his statement in verse 10, Paul quickly added adisclaimer. He did not mean to imply that he spoke from want when he thankedthem for their gift.In fact, he had learned to be content in whatever circumstances he found himself.Though his situation was extremely difficult, Paul was not discontent.It did not matter that he was a prisoner, living in a small apartment, chained to aRoman soldier, subsisting on a sparse diet.None of that affected Paul’s contentment, because he was satisfied with what littlehe had.His contentment was not affected by his physical deprivations since truecontentment comes only from God, and enables believers to be satisfied and atease in the midst of any problem. (joy vs happiness)
The contented attitude of someone like Paul is rare in todays society.People are not content even when they have a lot.In fact, it seems that those who are the wealthiest are often the most miserable anddiscontented.Instead, people are obsessed with delineating their needs and loudly demandingthat those needs be met & be met now.“Hey! What about me?”“Meeting my needs” has become the number one value in our culture.Starting from the humanistic premise that God does not exist and man is thereforeultimate, the goal of life for many people becomes getting their needs met.Adding to the discontent is the blurring of the distinction between needs and wants.In actual practice, today virtually everything has become a "need“ not a want.Philippians 4:1919 “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in ChristJesus.” Philippians 4:19
Today men "need" the latest hunting equipment, the largest screen TV, and a fanciercar; while ladies "need” nicer clothes, plastic surgery and a better house;children "need" the freedom to express themselves outside the "bondage" of parentalcontrol.Like a hamster running around and around on a wheel and going nowhere,people desperately chase the contentment that is always tantalizingly just out ofreach.Even many churches have begun to build their ministries around peoples "felt needs."But Paul knew that the chief end of man is not to have his needs met, but to glorifyGod and enjoy Him forever. Because of that, Paul was satisfied with whatever Godgraciously granted him.
As he wrote to Timothy, "If we have food and covering, with these we shall becontent" (1 Tim 6:8).Paul was content to let God control things.When difficult times came, he remained content because he was satisfied withwhatever he had.Philippians 4:1212“I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live inprosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filledand going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.” Philippians 4:12The twice-repeated phrase “I know how . . . I also know how” reveals that he hadlearned by experience and spiritual maturity to live above his circumstances and notto let them affect his contentment, his joy.That is an important lesson for believers to learn, for it is the difficult circumstances inlife that most frequently steal our contentment.Steve Saint update:http://youtu.be/N2jfgR0cCGc