“Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” ~Philippians 1:4-6 (NLT)
Attitude. When we say the word “attitude” among folks today there seems to be something uncomfy about it. I guess it’s because we are waiting for a negative adjective to be attached to it. To say one has a bad attitude seems the norm today and then to say that at all seems to be the only time we bring someone’s attitude. Maybe it’s not like this in your circles of life but in mine it is an everyday thing to overhear. A worker that doesn’t do a particular task (because they weren’t hired to do this task) displays their attitude as anti-team and therefore they maintain a bad attitude towards the job.
I think if there was anyone in Scripture who could’ve had and maintained a bad attitude it would have been the apostle Paul. Well I think he had one when he was a “Pharisee of Pharisees” but Jesus Christ changed that attitude over to one that found joy in affliction. In 2 Corinthians 11:24-28 we get a long list of things that Paul endured during his missionary travels. One time with getting 39 lashes is enough to send me into a “This ain’t happenin’ no more” attitude but Paul was different because Jesus made it different for him.
There was something Paul understood and that he had to have an attitude of joy. None the matter of people, possessions or circumstances when your confidence is in God joy is the resulting attitude. It didn’t matter the difficulty of the paths he walked or how much of beating he took walking those paths, Paul’s choice he to put his confidence in God. As Chuck Swindoll wrote in “Laugh Again”, Paul’s confidence in God guided him like an inner compass, always keeping him on joy’s course regardless of the gales that blew.”
So here in lies this question: Do you have that same inner confidence in God guiding you? If you think not, then maybe we should examine this confidence of Paul’s…
Paul’s time Philippi church planting didn’t go wasted. Because they were consistent, alive and actively participating in the Gospel on our their own. He states that quite clear in his opening lines of his letter to them. It’s in verse 6 that you can feel the firm confidence that Paul has that: “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” and it’s in this that three reasons of Paul’s confidence appear. That God was at work, in control and His plan for His glory was being followed in the Philippian church.
The thing that kept all of this influx is having a “keen discernment.” The church went Gods way because the people of God of choose to go God’s way. For any church to be able to grow in the grace of God is having God’s people, individually make the conscience effort to have a full and complete knowledge of truth on one side and a keen sense of right and wrong on the other. And I believe this comes from people who choose to maintain a joyful attitude by placing their confidence in God.
As a contributor to these Freedom Fighter blogs you gotta be asking…Do I do this myself? My answer to that goes like this…He who BEGAN a good work in me WILL PERFECT it until the day He comes back or chooses to take me home. I have confidence in this because it is a promise of God. Do I express this joy and confidence at all things at all times? Well I need to that better but I am pretty sure I’m alone in this either (not that this excuses me for my falling short).
To finish up for today let me borrow from Chuck Swindoll and say there are three principles we need to glean before we set sail into our day. First, confidence brings joy when you focus on the things for which you’re thankful. Second, confidence brings joy when you let God be God. Third, confidence brings joy when you keep love within proper limits. Giving thanks to our God is becoming a lost art. Today lets band together to regain our joy in the LORD by giving Him thanks in all things…even if His answer to somethings are “NO”. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married with two adult children (you may remember them from summer staff) and serves on the Deacon Board at Trinity Alliance Church in Cologne NJ.
Daily Quote: “It’s easy to understand why the world doesn’t see much joy reflected in Christianity today. We’ve quit practicing the art of thanksgiving, and without it, joy will remain a very scarce commodity.” ~Charles Swindoll
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them. ~Psalm 34:6-7