HOPE

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Journey Church

 

  • “A person can live for forty days without food, 3 days without water, and eight minutes without air, but not one second without hope.” – Hal Lindsey
  • We’re anxious – looking for peace – anxiety is the most common mental disorder in America (National Institute of Mental Health)

 

PAUL AND THE PHILIPPIAN CHURCH

  • Who is Paul?
  • Acts 16 (845) / Paul’s second missionary journey w/ Silas
  • Paul has a dream / Macedonian man, “Come and help us”
  • Philippi is in Macedonia (part of Greece) / Roman colony, Greek culture, few Jews
  • Paul and Silas go there, tell the people about Jesus, people start becoming Christians / Paul and Silas get beaten and tossed in jail
  • “Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.” – Acts 16:25 (845)
    • After being beaten and wrongfully imprisoned, Paul and Silas lead a spontaneous worship service in the dungeon

 

Now, a few years later, Paul writes this letter to the Philippian Christians – the people that he and Silas had led to Christ – and a major theme of what he wrote is having joy in the Lord. The guy who had joy in jail is telling them to have joy (in 4:4 he tells them to “always be full of the joy of the Lord.”) But Paul know that isn’t always easy. So here’s what he tells them…

 

TEXT: Philippians 4:6-8 (901)

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

  1. Do not be anxious, be prayerful.
    1. When you feel overwhelmed, insufficient, and worried – pray.
      1. When I worry, my focus is on “What am I going to do about this?”
      2. When I pray, my focus is on, “What God will do about this.”
    2. Prayer changes things, especially my perspective.
      1. I tend to view my problems in my terms (what I can do about them)
      2. When I pray my perspective changes
        1. BIG problems, little God / BIG God, little problems

 

  1. Pray: Be honest, be thankful.
    1. How do I pray about the worry that weighs me down?
    2. Paul: Tell God what you need. Thank Him for all He has done.
    3. “So let us come boldly to the throneof our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” – Hebrews 4:16 (922)
    4. God’s faithfulness in my past fills me with faith in the present.

 

  1. Prayer leads to peace.
    1. It may not lead to an immediate change in your situation. But it can bring an immediate change to you.
    2. “The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.” – Soren Kierkegaard
    3. Paul: This is peace that exceeds anything we can understand (Peace that passes understanding) = peace that doesn’t make sense (to us or others)
    4. That peace will guard your heart and mind. For some of us, worry is a heart issue. It’s emotional. It’s how we feel. For others, it’s a mind issue. We can’t stop thinking about it. We keep turning over the ramifications in our minds.
      1. Guard = like a well-garrisoned stronghold (despite what’s going on outside, you are safe inside)
    5. How does this work?
      1. “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” – Ephesians 3:20 (896)

 

  1. Think about these things.
    1. “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” – vs. 8
    2. What is true (most of the things that I worry about aren’t true)
      1. “Worry is interest paid on something you may never own.”
    3. What is honorable – right – pure – lovely – admirable – excellent – praiseworthy (think about these things)
    4. Great way to do that = Bible
      1. “Those who love your instructions have greatpeace and do not stumble.” – Psalm 119:165 (471)

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