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I Choose Peace - In Difficult Circumstances, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
August 13, 2021 6:00 am

I Choose Peace - In Difficult Circumstances, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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August 13, 2021 6:00 am

In this program, Chip explains four principles and four related practices that will increase our peace and provide absolute assurance that our needs are provided for, even in the midst of life's most difficult circumstances.

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Are you or someone you love going through difficult time that we all know how it feels when circumstances overwhelm us in peace just evaporates right will today I want to teach you about how to be at peace and stay at peace regardless of your circumstances. That's today. You don't want to miss. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge with two finger tips are Bible teacher for his daily discipleship program motivated Christians to live like Christians were in the middle of chip series I choose peace and quiet your heart. In the chaos of life and ability to pick up where he left off last time, ensuring the last two principles that will help us hang onto your feeling overwhelmed what's going on will stay with us for this program. This message builds off several points you made last time to let me encourage you to get the message notes before we get started their quick under the broadcast app listeners just have to fill in notes. If you have a Bible open to Philippians chapter 4 let's George part two of his message in difficult circumstances got good friend and we have some similarities as kind of an intense guy has a lot responsibility in his job and he stuck some of you are stuck in your marriage.

Summer stuck in your job summer stuck with your parents. Some are stuck at school, but you know what it's like when you're trying trying trying trying trying to ham and no matter what you do. You can't break through and you dislike bummed out music denies the change is less a change… That's what he said is tried everything he's got a lot of wherewithal to make things a can't make it, a set down he sitting something that God spoke to me pulled up his pen were meeting the other morning him a coffee sitting wanted sitting what I just got a can't change that I've done all that I can't took out a pen and the roasted cake. Here's what I did. I wrote down God's family me and they put lines through them like this and put a line in any he said now in my heart. What I what I say is it's God first family than me is that I looked at that and I did little kind of P&L. Yeah, the little inventory and said is God really first my life as I can't change, I'm stuck because I fit this thing that I can't move, and so on. Santa okay got and you can move it so if it's not moving maybe want to teach me something. What do you want to teach me about my relationship with you about my family about me is that I literally wrote down where I thought it was that I said I was saying God's first but I looked at all my activities.

My energy lot more meeting got I was saying all honey family you're really what matters. But when I look at my life and then he just told me and he said you know I reorganize re-prioritized and I moved some things to say okay I want to learn. I want to learn. See the difference.

God's number one agenda.

His number one priority. This is can be hard to take to make you happy. It's not so you'll be self actualized at the top pinnacle of Maslow's hierarchy is not so you be fulfilled and everything will go your way every day in every way. His primary agenda in your life to make you like his son to use the ops of his blessing and the struggles in the down of a fallen world to take the threat of a vital relationship with Judy Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, rooted in his word in authentic community to little by little by little make you more and more like Jesus. So there's a mom in the house that thinks and talks and serves like Jesus. So there's a dad who talks and thinks and lives so there's kids in the house so that you go to work and people don't understand how this attitude that is amazing can be tied to the injustice you're getting at work.

Calm this attitude in response is tied to a very frustrating marriage how this attitude that you have with regard to your life can happen when I know how much you got hurt by the markets last dip. See that's what God's about, and you can be content in the ups and the downs. When you say Lord I'm gonna choose to thank you for what I do have not spent all my time focusing on what I don't then I'm gonna step back and say Lord I don't know the agenda for the world but I know your agenda for me.

What do you want me to learn what you want me to learn because I can't. I can't change her. I can't change him, I can't get inside this kid's head in and re-screw things so that the respondent let you know what my boss looks like he's got a be here for a while. This economy is not going to change a lot, you know I can't. I'm stuck.

So be teachable.

The third principle that Paul gives us the secret of contentment challenges our basic American value that more is better. And Paul says, first, our contentment is not based on your circumstances. Second, it's an attitude you learn, not a thing you achieve. And now he says prosperity does not have the power to give us contentment nor poverty, the power to take it away. Notice he illustrates that in verse 12 he said I've had a lot. I've had nothing. He uses the word 20 and eight and eight.

He talks about is literally what they would do with the cattle or livestock. It was fat that he said I've lived in the lap of luxury. It can't deliver, and I've been where hot enough they were to pull me out of the ocean and proverbially I've been on the other and the biopsy reports when either for me or someone I love, desperately, it comes up with the big C code cancer and I know I'm gonna make it without this person or I don't know what my family or friends are going to do if I leave prematurely Paul saying in both those things, prosperity is unable to deliver contentment and poverty doesn't have the power to take it away and so notice is practice here is be flexible, be flexible. See, it's one thing to be grateful it's another thing to say. Oh God, teach me. I want to learn. Once God shows you knowing what your to do and doing it is two different things is not saying, oh God, I want to be teachable. All thanks you for showing me that being flexible is change. Ask God not just what you want to learn then go the next step like my friend. What do you want me to change this guy sat down at the table. I mean, he took his priorities and he went he told me I got the biggest one of the biggest presentations to these big corporations that I've got a make and I mean there's a lot riding on it is in my wife. You know she wanted. She wanted to go out and have some fun and it was like all the Soho Isaac. I said she got her said so I did. I got up in the wee hours of the morning. I had this much work to do and I had about two hours to do it and I said God you show up and I talked about how God did and how the presentation went better than if he had 10 or 12 hours. See you be flexible you gotta say, God, I'm grateful you say got unteachable then you say God how do you want to change me. What's the next step to whatever you want to do to make me more like your son but you got it you can yeah push away from the lie that prosperity will deliver at a young guy named Todd work in Santa Cruz and Yunnan just one of the sort of weird people that you know, how the world works.

My body clock is just the opposite. So you when you guys you just can't get fired up and think it is good to be a great night. I'm going to bed and why your sleep and I'm working it just is just kind of how God made me and the problem is finding a good place to work in the wee hours of the morning and that in Santa Cruz. I found this little coffee shop because they cook doughnuts and bagels all night so they open by about four in the Cambodian lady became a good friend. She made a kind of coffee I like and so I would go in there and then you know by 435. A couple guys would come in they be doing some studying and you realize they're probably as weird as you are. And so maybe we can become friends, and so we did and this one guy you know he was always doing some work and eventually got to know one another and Todd came out and ended up coming to the church and got involved and he came out to work at a Christian camp is set as a volunteer at basically minimum wage and it was working so I said what he doing.

He said I'm I'm finishing up a book and that I later saw the book culture riches and a civil what's the book about civil here you have a copy and I just read the back. Todd Cinelli, a graduate MBA Wharton finance started to do that. It did hit like every business thing you could ever get at 23 years old. Don't suggest anyone do this.

He had three credit cards he got as much cash out of each one got $1000. Autumn had $3000 steak went on the trading table at Chicago became friends with who the big guru of trading was in Chicago at the time when into the pit. 23.

He's dead broke barn office credit cards at 24. He's a millionaire. At 25. He's a multi-multi-multimillionaire 25 years old he significations Tahiti can do anything, anytime. It is a believer and everything the world has been at his lap at 26 is dead broke at 27 he earns it all back again and now he has it all back again and says God wanted to teach me something, anything I wanted in this world I could get. And he said you understand how scary and shocking it is to know Christ and Christ alone can only deliver but unconsciously you do believe these other things so I had anything that I wanted and he said I went into the deepest depression of ever had and so I came here to serve people and I wanted to do it kind of minimum wage because I want to be content. And you know how many of us who know Christ to spirit lives in our hearts and lives who say we believe what this book says if the truth were known, and the smoke were pulled back.

We really our lives reflect its I gotta get that SAT score, and when I make that squad when I'm first team and when I get the corporate ladder when I get this.

How can we get the other house and we can position this this way and you know what you know what that is a lousy watch compared that one that I really want to get a picture in the refrigerator.

That portion someday somewhere him to get that unconsciously had bought the lie that prosperity can deliver. And Paul says it can't be gotta be a radical Christian to believe that don't you.

But he says not only it can't, but he turns around and says poverty. Poverty does have the power to take away. I've been in need. I've been times when I have nothing and I'll never forget the time I was in the Philippines and is the most classic picture and I was involved in a in a basketball team sharing Christ and had a good friend is a missionary in had a little Filipino guy that just I mean, our hearts bonded name Alex and Alex was married and he was probably early 30s at the time and and that in Manila it's just it's a crazy, crazy, no rules, no anything like it on the back of his motorcycle.

He wants to show me his home in any just so proud. He says to got to come to my home and you got to see it. I said okay and so were driving in and out of traffic and I'm praying Lord Jesus, that I might see my wife and children. Again, you know and and so Tom says now he lives in the slums and you don't know what slums aren't to go to these kind of countries and so we pull up and there's a hill and as far as the eye can see. There's cardboard shacks against one another and then sorted the upper level middle class has a few wooden crates along with the cardboard and then the elite areas. They have a little luck corrugated tin roof on top would help for the rain and as far as the eye could see. I mean there's no plumbing there is no thousands and thousands of people and Alex because of Tom's connections. Tom figured out there was one light pole and had a wire that went about 100 yards and one person out of all these thousands of people had a little wire that went through the top of his and had won the lightbulb and Alex would open his home and read the Scriptures at night because he's the only one that had light and he came in. We walk through this maze of people in poverty and you know it was like watching in one of those world vision commercials on TV in my heart's going out and Alex's chest is kind of come in and I went into about a 9 x 6 room and then he dug out of the lives of a dirt floor and when it's about a 3 x 6 theory where he cooked and he looked at me.

This is my home this is my wife and she was gonna have number three cut on the way, these are my little boys and cheap.

I'm so glad you would come to my all and you know what I'm telling you he's you think he on the Taj Mahal to poverty doesn't have the power peak and I said what will Alex where he sleep and had little caught.

It was about 2 1/2 by about four to half or 5 feet, and he looked like where we sleep.

I mean we have a king-sized look at this tip you see, instead of being on the dirt I curl my body this way. My wife curls her body this week and we put our two boys in the middle. That's where we cook no words we have worked to level house.

We have a light pop decent can't cut Paul says you can learn to be content and come to a point in your life were just like you can say I know how to ride a bike. I know how to hit a golfball can I get better. Sure but he says if you will practice being grateful if you will be teachable and say God what you want to teach me and if you will be flexible and say instead of changing that out there.

Show me anything in my life or relationship you want me to change. He said you be about 75% of being there 20 473-6524 hours a day of having a soul and a heart that is content as though you had millions of dollars in the bank.

Every relationship was intact and life could be not more wonderful because those things can't deliver it. The final thing he says to you and me is the principle number four that only Christ has the power to give us contentment that transcends all life variables.

Only Christ even among us as believers. The lie is that contentment can be found apart from God. Now that's what unbelievers think. I mean I get to get this car this house this relationship. This jewelry this pain. The success everyone has unconscious or conscious little box and a drive toward it and the problem is it is, like this rainbow that we have and there's a golden pot at the end we working working working working working working working and we finally can we slide into the golden pot, and maybe it's same or maybe it success rate is that perfect little house. Maybe it's the financial success. Or maybe we finally get the make our first CD, or maybe were an artist or maybe our families warm and we go inwards and run the table thing and come by all. I have this little picture but when you get it, he realized, and deliver an empty bucket you given your life, your time, your energy, your focus and among unbelievers. They get on the go. Many people come to Christ after extraordinary success and realize it is empty. Others come to Christ out of extraordinary pain, but both have come to the point of their need and my observation is what the world system really is is that's how unbelievers think and what happens to me. I think what happens to a lot of you is I know that's wrong and that's not really true in what I say is it's Jesus plus a great family. It's Jesus plus a great body. It's Jesus plus a good job. It's Jesus plus but it's that.

Plus, that always gets me in trouble and I say to Jesus when you can deliver the plus, then I'll be satisfied, happy, fulfilled, and so I made a spiritual version of the wind then syndrome and the enemy has fed me a lie and I end up as empty almost as those without Christ and the energy and the skills and the money and the resources and the gifts that God gave me to do something great with my life very subtly got turned inward and I spent it all about chasing something that doesn't exist only to come up empty. The fastest growing profession in Christendom in the last 30 years is Christian counseling. We have never had more Christians with more problems and by the way, I'm glad we have them.

I've been there I've done that and it helped. And so the for the final practice is to understand, only Christ can give what transcends all circumstances. So be confident that the secret of the success. How is it that you can be grateful. How is it that you can be teachable. How is it that you can say all change anything.

Could you save yourself.

I'm trying to change before and I can't will Paul says here's the key. I can do all things through him who gives me the strength moment by moment relationship. My relationship decision by surgeon painful disappointment through painful disappointment to fulfill everything he wants me to do.

I can have confidence but the confidence occurs not theoretically on the couch going. Someday some way I might try that. The confidence comes by faith.

When thank you Lord for what I do have. Oh God.

Okay, I realize I'm teachable Hyman American personnel, not like sticking out my chest arrogant, but I somehow got my whole life revolved around me. You want to change put other people first London put other people first. Don't you understand that's can impact my income.

I might have to sell this or do that or yeah you want me to become a servant to these relationships when I thought they were all make me happy. That's good to be, I can't do that. Be confident. Come to me with a humble heart in the ops. Thank you in the downs. Thank you.

What you want me to learn how do you want me to change and then you take the power of my word.

Energized by the Holy Spirit in the context of genuine, authentic, loving community relationships, and I guarantee you I will give you whatever you need, not for tomorrow not for next week not to solve all the problems I'll give you whatever you need to have a quiet heart.

It is completely at peace and the strength to allow my son to the power of the spirit to give you the response. The reaction, the courage, the faith, what ever you need I will give you because you're my child. I love you. Trust me, I received a letter yesterday when of the office to clean some things up and I receive this letter. A guy writes hi Chip thanks so much for couple things that I think were very helpful and then out of the blue. It says it seems like recently I keep running into people who follow the kind of thinking that if they can only perform at a high enough level they can only gain enough applause or admiration of men and women around me that my life will then have meeting is in the past year. It seems a spoken of so many people in the situations and I've seen it in my own life but that doesn't do it. People put everything onto being on the cheerleading squad are working with the top of the corporate ladder, making the didn't Dean's list or wearing a Super Bowl ring becoming a major player in the political realm they spent every ounce of time and energy on these earthly goals. Convinced that they can achieve them in the finally obtain self-esteem and the confidence in the piece they desperately want. But it seems to me when they reach the pinnacle of what they thought would be successful. The sense of self-worth and contentment.

They long for is conspicuously absent. And the reason I think it is, is that their goals were centered on what other people think, rather than on what God thinks and he closes with this.

He says I remember a sportswriter named Gary Smith once interviewed boxing legend Mohammed Ali and the interview was conducted at the fighters farmhouse and during the time together.

Allie took Smith on a tour of his estate, and then he was led into the barn and the writer saw all of Mohammed Ali's trophies, ribbons and awards on the shelf collecting dust.

Some of them even spattered with pigeon droppings, Golden gloves, Olympic gold world champion as they surveyed all the boxing memorabilia getting ruined. Mohammed Ali said something very quietly to Smith. He spoke so softly.

In fact the writer had asked him to repeat what he is said with his lips barely moving. If you've seen Allie talk now because of some of the damage. The words seem to come from the very back of the champ's throat and he said I had the world I had all the world and it was nothing, nothing, what you have, what are you waiting for what would it look like for you to be grateful to be teachable to be flexible to be confident that God could give you whatever you want in the months and years after. Of time, circumstances would no longer have the power will be right's application for this message. Difficult circumstances from this series, I choose peace chips, focusing his attention in these programs on the circumstances that rob us of our peace. Whether that's troubled relationships, difficult circumstances, moments of anxiousness or financial insecurity. This series provides practical biblical answers to these areas where we struggle to maintain peace. The fact is we all wrestle with finding contentment and harmony so let me encourage you to reach out to a few friends and go through the series together and discover God's truly satisfying piece for more information about the series. Order order chips brand-new book I choose peace visit Listeners tap special offers which are by no you want to talk about today's teaching but before you do that. Could you take just a minute and talk about the increasing pressure. Christians are facing. I mean you're in contact with a lot of people.

What you see happening.

I think as Christians we see to responses neither of which is going to bring about long term positive change and one is a combativeness and anger, a sort of the culture is the enemy and the other is what I call and set up in combat. We capitulate and so go with the flow unit whom I to judge.

Let's just all be loving, and so the one has truth with no grace and the other has grace with no truth is what Living on the Edge. We spent the last 20 years developing resources, whether it's audiobooks or teaching or CDs or are my favorite small-group material to help people live out truth and grace. And we've had very generous people. Partner with us to create all those resources to pay for air time to hire staff. We are living in a day where if Christians do not live like Christians and refused to attack but are strong and winsome and loving and factly. Treat people radically, lovingly, the way Jesus did, and yet not compromise the truth we will see America go right down the tubes and so there's never been a day when we need to do more and we can't do more without the prayers and the financial support of our Living on the Edge, partners, and so if you've never given to Living on the Edge it let me tell you now is a wonderful wonderful time will be true to Scripture we truly equip people to live out both grace and truth in the power the Holy Spirit. So thank you for those of you that support us. Please continue to do so.

And for those of you that have not. I would highly encourage you get on board today we can make a difference together if that mission resonates with you. We'd love to have you join us.

Helping Christians find the balance between truth and grace and the boldness to speak up and love will change the world we live in send a gift to support the ministry of Living on the Edge just go to Donate on the app or give us a call a 8883336003 that's AAA 333-6003. Thanks in advance for following God's lead will chip let's get to that application. We promised you know the older I get, the more I realize that life is lived in seasons and did you know that God has a plan in every season of your life, and a part of that plan is to bring you unbelievable joy and great relationships and part of the plan is to bring test and challenges and difficulties so that he makes you more and more like Christ and what I can tell you is so often I have had ideas about. This is how the season to go and this is what ought to happen and when it doesn't I get really frustrated.

I was sitting in a meeting and I had a big transition in my life and I in my mind I knew exactly what it ought to look like will guess what, it hasn't looked anything like I thought it should look like and confession part of that.

I got really frustrated inside and how God did it. Looking back is 100 X better than the plan that was in my mind.

So here's what I want you to know, to choose peace. Yes, be grateful be teachable, but we learn today. Be flexible, be be willing to accept God's path instead of what you have in your mind. And then, finally, be confident, you know, we often quote this verse with sporting activities. But as you learn today I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength is really not about doing well in sports.

It's about trusting God to give you the strength the endurance the patients and the wisdom to do life in the season.

He has you with a grateful attitude and with the peace that surpasses understanding you know a great way to soak in more of God's truth is with the chipping remap you'll find the series there and many more all free, but God's word poor into you in such a way that you get perspective and the freedom he longs for you to enjoy in him will selects time.

This is Dave Drury saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge

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