By Steve Salkeld
Recently I preached on Philippians 1 asking if we are ‘finished’.
About a week later I heard another sermon along a similar vein. That in itself got me thinking; if the Holy Spirit was prompting me to preach on that particular subject then nudging me to listen to another sermon, then the subject matter must be relevant and important. That’s not to say that anything in the Bible isn’t relevant, but when you keep getting the same message then I think the right response is to sit up and take notice!
I think the book of Philippians is so relevant to today, the circumstances and uncertainty we find ourselves in, I therefore thought it appropriate to share with you some brief notes and thoughts from the sermon I watched.
As we enter into another period of challenge and uncertainty our confidence may be shaken. However, be sure that God remains committed to us and our future
In Philippians 3:4-8 Paul shares with us what he could have put his confidence and trust in. However, Paul tells us that the things we put our trust in are nothing compared to knowing God, that is where our confidence should be – our confidence shouldn’t be in what we do or what we think we know, or in our circumstances, but in our relationship with God.
In Philippians 3:12 we are told to ‘Press on’ with confidence
Philippians 3:14 reminds us that the secret to our confidence is to seek more of Jesus, forgetting what is past, looking forward to what lies ahead
The past or our present circumstances can rob of us of our future confidence.
- don’t pretend the past or the present circumstances aren’t there – the unprocessed past can damage our future and we need to recognise current circumstances so as to not be reckless
- talk about things to the right people – centre ourselves on Jesus, pray, but don’t isolate ourselves, seek pastoral care, support and encouragement in whatever way possible
- identity the people who are on the journey with us – invest in those relationships
- celebrate our growth – what have we learned, where have we moved forward and moved on, where we may have broken an unhealthy pattern, where we have overcome and defeated circumstances
- adopt the attitude of forgiveness – in doing so we set ourselves free
- dream and design our future – don’t be held back by our past, we’ve a new opportunity to start now; don’t make it purely individual, but recognise our purpose in God’s family and in advancing His Kingdom
- make Jesus Christ our goal – everything else is circumstances, our purpose has to be knowing Jesus.
Our current circumstances aren’t as important as what we do with them!