Thursday, June 14, 2012
Welcome to Day 165 of our Life Journal!
Click here for today’s reading: 1 Kings 15; 2 Chronicles 13; 2 Chronicles 14; Philippians 4 (2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
1 Kings 15, In this chapter we have an abstract of the history of two of the kings of Judah, Abijam, the days of whose reign were few and evil, and Asa, who reigned well and long. And of two of the kings of Israel, Nadab the son of Jeroboam, and Baasha the destroyer of Jeroboam’s house. (Edited from Matthew Henry’s Commentary.)
2 Chronicles 13 offers a much fuller account of the reign of Abijah, the son of Rehoboam, than in Kings. There we found that his character was no better than his father’s—he “walked in the sins of his father, and his heart was not right with God.” (Edited from Matthew Henry’s Commentary.)
Chronicles emphasizes the positive side of Abijah’s reign while the writer of Kings focuses on the negative side.
2 Chronicles 14, Asa’s reign is presented in two parts: years of fidelity and blessing (14:2–15:19) and later years of infidelity and curse. (Reformation Study Bible.)
v 11, “Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, “Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. Lord, you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you.”
Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
Every chapter of Philippians is classic. Great verses, great wisdom and insight for living.
And like most of the Bible, more easily quoted than walked out. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? “Do not be anxious about anything…” Simply pray and God’s peace will guard your heart and mind…”
I know Paul understood difficulty and stress, persecution, hardship.
Check out this passage from 1 Corinthians 11, “I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?”
Paul understood anxiety from every viewpoint… Physical, emotional and spiritual.
When imprisoned, Paul worshiped, prayed and wrote letters to encourage the churches… Philippians is a great example of that. Also in Acts when he and Silas were in chains, worshiping and there was an earthquake…
I don’t think Paul is giving a bumper-sticker 3 point sermon on how to beat anxiety. I think he knew from experience that sometimes all you can do is pray, and seek God’s peace in the midst of life’s toughest circumstances.
Obviously Paul experienced this peace that “surpasses all understanding.” He is simply passing along what he has learned.
Pray. Make your requests known to God. And expect his peace to come upon you. Not in a formulaic way, but in a “this is how God works” kind of way.
Similar to “Give and it will be given to you.” It’s a spiritual principle… but we don’t give in order to get. We give out of love and obedience and sacrifice, knowing that God is faithful to meet all of our needs.
Giving in order to get… is well… wrong.
There is a difference between praying knowing that God’s peace will come upon us and praying so that we will get some peace. Prayer is an end in itself. (The same with worship.) We don’t pray to twist God’s arm or to get something from Him… We (should) pray out of love and devotion… yet with an expectation that He desires to meet our deepest needs. That He desires to pour out His peace and provision. To bring healing to our lives.
Sometimes our anxiety comes from a place of past hurt that requires some help. Working through past issues with a caring person such as a counselor or psychiatrist. An extended session of prayer (Soaking Prayer or Sozo) can make a huge impact on one’s inner healing.
People often ask about medication… No one wants to go on medication, and they often feel embarrassed or ashamed or weak for going on meds…
We have no issue with taking aspirin for a headache, or insulin for Diabetes. But when the issue is emotional, there is often a stigma attached. When one hears the word, “Prozac” or “Zoloft” it can elicit all kinds of responses.
If you’re married, talk to your spouse. Talk to a pastor. Talk to a caring friend who is informed and understands. Talk to a counselor, your family doctor or a psychiatrist.
Anxiety is not “one size fits all.”
And pray every step along the way, with the knowledge that God loves you beyond what you could ever imagine and with expectation that He wants to give you His peace that passes all understanding.
May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you…
And give you His peace. In Jesus’ name…