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Summary: Message 15 from Philippians continuing a discussion of how to stand firm in life's difficulties

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Chico Alliance Church

November 20, 2016

Stand Firm in the Lord Part 4

“Stand Firm in the Storms of Life”

Paul’s letter to the Philippians offers some key elements to “Maintaining the Joy of the Lord No Matter What”.

I. ADOPT THE RIGHT AXIS – Passion to praise exalt Christ

II. MAINTAIN THE RIGHT ATTITUDE – Passion to please Christ

III. PURSUE THE RIGHT AIM – Passion to pursue Christ

IV. PRACTICE THE RIGHT ACTIONS – Passion to practice Christ

A. Stand firm in the Lord 4:1

Therefore, my brothers, dearly loved and longed for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, dearly loved.

APPLICATION OF STAND FIRM IN THE LORD

Stand firm against persecution and false teaching

Stand firm in the storms of life.

These struggles include things like deteriorating health, severe loss and unexplainable tragedy, broken relationships, job loss, addictions, demonic oppression and temptation, dealing with emotional health, fear, anxiety, anger, confusion, bitterness, physical and emotional fatigue, stress, depression, loss of motivation, feelings of distance from God, weariness in doing good, feelings of insecurity and being unappreciated, etc.

Life includes all manner of struggle. In all these things, Scripture urges us to STAND FIRM IN THE LORD.

Stand firm by maintaining a close connection to the LORD. Scripture addresses all manner of difficulties we must face because we live in a broken, rebellious, devil-directed and driven world.

Several passages that offer help in the struggle fall under three basic categories.

Embrace a Biblical perspective

Entrust your soul to a faithful Father

Encourage one another

1. Embrace a Divine perspective

Embracing a divine perspective, I guess depends first on seeking one. Right living depends first on right thinking. Stinking thinking results in stinking living. Right belief breeds right behavior.

And do not be conformed to this world (or its way of thinking), but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Rom 12:2

Knowing facilitates doing. The Scriptures prevail as the ultimate source for Divine perspective and encouragement.

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4

Here a few key perspective adjusters. Many times, the perspective relates to embracing the ultimate purpose of the struggle beyond the immediate pain of the struggle.

Stand firm despite unnoticed service or unfair treatment by considering future reward.

Paul told those under slavery to serve their masters as if they were serving Christ by focusing on (knowing) the ultimate payback would come from the Lord. Eph 6:5-8 and Col 3:22-15

Stand firm in present ministry by looking to future reward.

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6:9-10

But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good. 2 Thessalonians 3:13

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:58

Stand firm in present difficulty by considering the higher purpose.

Are we willing to give up something now to reap some better later? Paul reminded the Roman readers that God causes all things to work together for God. Rom 8:27-28

James instructed his readers to consider it joy when difficult things invade your life by focusing on the end result of a godly response to those difficulties. Paul told the Romans the same kind of thing. Exalt in tribulations by focusing on the development of character that comes about through a godly response to those trials. Rom 5

Paul considered the future glory to far outweigh the present gloom. Rom 8:18 Paul stood firm in affliction by focusing on the eternal results. Jesus endured the grueling suffering and death by focusing on the ultimate joy of what it would accomplish. The writer of Hebrews calls all followers of Jesus to run with endurance the difficult race set before us by focusing on Jesus. Jesus endured suffering by a future focus.

For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Heb 12:1-3

Peter told his readers not to be surprised at or thing strange the “firey ordeal” but actually rejoice by focusing on the future reward. 1 pet 4:12-13 This is a critical aspect of dealing with trials. Not until we seek God’s perspective can we discover the means to cope. The disciples faced a major life-threatening storm. Jesus came walking on the water. Peter boldly asked if he could join him. Everything was fine until he diverted his focus form Jesus to the storm.

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