Today, we are continuing our series entitled “Stress Out!” and most recently, we’ve been breaking down Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28-30. So, let’s quickly review what we’ve been learning:
The first thing we learned is how the Lord was addressing “all you who labor and are heavy laden.” We saw that this is just another way of describing a stressed-out people and that those who are experiencing this stressful life need only do one thing—to come to Him! Yes, Jesus invited everyone who labors and is heavy laden to come to Him in order to receive rest for their souls.
And we covered a couple of weeks ago what this rest truly is: We learned that while one rest is given (vs. 28), the other is found (vs. 29). Yes, one is experienced when we come to Christ upon making Him our personal Lord and Savior. This is the positional rest we have entered into—and many of us can attest to immediately receiving this rest the moment we called on the name of Jesus and were saved from the burden of sin. However, we saw that there remains a rest that we can partake of experientially—and that is when we exchange our weakness for His strength and learn to wait on the Lord and draw near to Him in fellowship. But like we saw, this rest for our soul must be found—which indicates that we have to search for it.
So, we learned some very practical ways to do so: For example, we have come to learn that it actually is a good thing for everyone to rest one out of every seven days. Therefore, we said that this is a good principle for each of us to live by in order to live free from stress: have a day each week where we detach, disconnect, and decompress—that is, where we lay down every project, where we turn the phone off, where we don’t even try to problem-solve in our minds; just a day of rest where we put our relationship with the Lord as our priority and we even enjoy some nice recreational things that do not require a lot of physical or mental energy. I bet if we would make sure to schedule this on a weekly basis, we would live more stress-free lives. Amen?
But we also learned that it is wise to schedule periodic times of rest throughout the year where we can cease from the physical and emotional labor and focus on the spiritual side of our life. Not only that, but we learned that we also need a certain period of time every day in order to find rest for our souls. What I mean is, we need that period of time every day to “come to Him,” simply meditating on His Word, praising & worshipping Him, etc., to where that rest is found daily.
And, finally, we learned that what we do during those “sabbaticals” is important as well. Yes, reading the Bible is important, praying for others is important, but there is something very specific that you and I can do that actually causes us to enter into His rest. And one of those things that we can deliberately do to enter into His rest is to speak in tongues! Yes, Isaiah chapter 28 teaches us that this is the rest that is available for us.
Now, last week, we looked at another qualifier that Jesus mentioned for finding this rest for our souls: It is what Jesus said at the beginning of verse 29 when He said, “Take My yoke upon you…” We went into great detail on what this means and learned not only what His yoke is, but how to take it up.
In answering the question of what this yoke is, we found that this was an interesting way to describe how one can find rest for their souls. I mean, to use the example of wearing a yoke—which was used for laboring, not resting—that seems like the opposite of finding rest. Amen?
But the first thing we said is that it is obvious that the Lord was differentiating between the former and first yoke—that is, the first covenant, which came to be called by the apostle Paul, the “yoke of bondage” (see Galatians 5:1). So, His yoke—which would be this new covenant that Jesus’ blood provided for us—is what He is offering for everyone who labors and is burdened down to take up. And in this new covenant of grace is found all the rest and freedom from stress that we will ever need!
You see, grace always precedes peace, and this peace is what we are striving to live by. We see this in many of the apostle Paul’s blessings that He spoke over his churches. For example, here in Galatians 1:3 he says, “Grace to you and peace from God…” Therefore, understanding the grace of God will always promote peace in one’s life—which as a result will yield freedom from the stresses of life.
Now we also found out what Jesus was not saying: He was not saying that there is another yoke out there other than the yoke of bondage—the law—that we are to take up and put on in place of the old yoke. Jesus did not go to the Cross to provide us with another updated and improved yoke of religion. That is not what the new covenant of grace is, and is not what Jesus was saying here.
You see, the example that is being used here is not of us exchanging one yoke for another, but of us getting yoked up together with Him. We learned that the word Jesus used for “yoke” here literally described a wooden yoke that joined two animals together. So, it was not describing one yoke for each animal. No, the purpose of this particular yoke was so that they, through their combined strength, would pull a load that generally would have been too difficult for one animal to pull by itself. Therefore, this “yoke” made the two one.
Now let’s relish in this one truth for a moment: Me … You … All of us … Have the glorious opportunity to get yoked up together with Christ. This describes us co-laboring with Him just as we have been made joint-heirs with Him. It is not Jesus way up there, and us way down here. In His righteousness, Jesus has made available a way for everyone who believes on Him to share equally in His righteousness. Yes, and He has also offered for everyone to come labor work together with Him in the same field and on the same footing. What an honor and a privilege! Amen? Glory to God!
So, back to this yoke Jesus referred to: As a result of being yoked up together, these two cows, bulls or ox were collectively stronger, and their combined strength made their task easier. Now the obvious reason that they did this was because even the strongest “beast of burden” could not pull the load on some jobs. There were certain things that needed to be done that required more strength than their strongest animal could carry alone.
You see, we might be the strongest one in God’s flock, but we still have our limits on what we can carry on our own. Yes, every single one of us has a limit to what we can do for Him. But the error I see most of us making at times is that since we feel we can do it, we do it, and because we might seem to be strong enough to handle something, we grin and bear it. While that might sometimes be what needs to be done, I don’t think this is the primary way that the Lord would have us live the Christian life. That’s right: I believe that we need to have the wisdom to know that things like working harder, toughing it out, and doing things in our own strength is generally not God’s best. So, what is God’s best? Getting yoked up together with Him, and letting Him provide the strength and power that we need to carry our load.
You see, there is One who is stronger than I—and His name is Jesus! And He has promised me that if I will take His yoke upon me, I will experience a light and easy load and that I will find rest for my soul. And why? It is because Jesus is the strongest Ox of them all and, therefore, He is carrying the brunt of the weight. In fact, if we would just consider the strength of the Savior, I think it would be clear that He doesn’t need any of our help. Yes, Jesus is doing just fine pulling the full weight of the work, thank you very much. We are just along for the ride. Glory to Jesus!
And this beautifully illustrates this new and better covenant. There is nothing you and I can do to add to the work of Christ! Jesus paid it all! He carried it all! Our sins are no longer to be carried. Our cares are to be cast over on Him. Jesus, and Jesus alone, has done the work of salvation. And this is not just in regard to our eternal security. Jesus also wants to carry the full brunt of the things you need in your everyday life as well.
I’ll tell you—this is the LIFE. Learning to do things His way and resting in the finished work of Jesus is a stress-free way to live. And He goes on to say this about His yoke in verse 30—It is easy and it is light.
We saw that the word Jesus used for “easy” literally describes something that is “fit, manageable, and pleasant.” Therefore, His yoke is “easy” because it fits, is easy to handle, and is simply pleasant. He goes on to say that His burden is light, and we saw that the word “burden” is a poor translation. It is actually the same word we looked at in Galatians 6:5, which was correctly translated as “load” in the NKJV. You see, nothing in the New Covenant is “burdensome.” The moment we begin to feel “burdened” is the moment we have become unyoked from Christ. Yes, every believer is called to carry their own load (see Galatians 6:5), but when a Christian is burdened down, that is when we are supposed to help alleviate those burdens from our brothers and sisters. So, the Lord was literally saying here that His load is light. In fact, the only other time this word for “light” is used in the New Testament is in Second Corinthians 4:17 when the apostle Paul referred to our “light” afflictions. (We might get into that a little today)
My point is that the Lord said that His yoke and His load are easy and light, as opposed to hard and heavy. The moment things begin to get hard and heavy is the moment that we are carrying those cares ourselves. “Burnout” comes as we do all the pulling ourselves. This is not what the Lord intended. If we are yoked up with Christ, what we will sense is a much more light and easy experience in the difficult situations we walk through in life. This is when we must learn to yoke ourselves up together with Him to where He does the majority of the pulling.
Friends, the Christian life is meant to be light and easy, not heavy and hard. And the moment we begin to feel like our burden is heavy and hard is the moment we have simply realized that we are taking our own yoke and are not benefiting from Him pulling the weight for us. The only time that it becomes laborious is when we, of our own accord, unyoke ourselves from Him and try to carry the weights of this life ourselves. This is when the Christian life becomes burdensome and overbearing and we, as a result, lose our peace.
So, the next question we asked was—How does one take His yoke upon themselves?
Well, the first thing we need to understand is that He is not going to make us take it. He doesn’t tell us to pray that God throw this yoke upon us. Yes, I don’t see in the Lord’s prayer—Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be your name, Your yoke come, Your putting it on me be done…” No, Jesus tells us to take His yoke upon us ourselves.
I said that I believe we find that answer back in verse 28 when Jesus said, “Come to Me … and I will give you rest.” So, it would be incorrect for one to start assuming that we take His yoke upon ourselves all kind of other ways without considering the context. Amen?
So, I think it is safe to assume that the way we take His yoke upon ourselves is by first coming to Him. Now, again, coming to the Lord describes both proximity and perspective—meaning, it describes us literally drawing near to Him and abiding in our True Vine and it also describes us turning our attention to Him and looking unto the Author and Finisher of our faith. Therefore, when we do that, we take His yoke upon us and benefit from the strength He has to offer.
We then looked at several Scriptures that talk about how we can “Come to Him” and receive His strength. So, if you missed last week, you can listen online. But the main point that was made is that it is imperative that we learn to “come to Jesus” when we are feeling overburdened and stressed out. And we come to Him by setting aside times to draw near to Him and draw our strength from Him that way, but we also come to Him by putting our focus and attention on Him and what we say as a result.
I can assure you that if you make your personal relationship with Jesus a priority in your life and then adopt the mentality of faith that takes His Word at face value, you can “take His yoke upon you” and as a result “find rest for your souls.” Like we learned—it is an easy fit and not a burden in the least. It is a light and easy yoke, and that is because Jesus has both done the work for us on the Cross and because He is doing the same today, carrying the load.
However, the next point that I want us to move into today is that Jesus did not just encourage us to take His yoke upon us in order to find this rest for our souls; He included in this verse that we are also to “learn” of Him.
THE YOKE OF HUMILITY
But before we get into what this means to learn of Him, I want you to notice one of the motivations for Jesus telling us to do these two things. He said, “for I am gentle and lowly in heart.” So, it was because of this “gentle” nature and how He is “lowly in heart” that we can both take His yoke upon us and learn of Him.
Why did He describe Himself this way? What does this have to do with us entering into His rest? Well, the word “gentle” is only used this one time in the New Testament, and describes one who is gentle, mild, meek and humble. The phrase “lowly in heart” also describes “humility” as it denotes someone or something that does not rise far from the ground. Therefore, this person who is “lowly in heart” is someone who is “base” or of “low degree”—not that they are less and lower than others, but that they choose to lower themselves for other’s benefit. So, this is how Jesus described Himself—with the characteristics of humility—and this is what He told us to learn from Him.
Now it stands to reason that if the High & Lofty One Himself was able to humble Himself like this, don’t you think you and I ought to do this as well? Yes, if Jehovah Elyon can lower Himself to this degree, then we ought to operate with the same lowliness of mind ourselves. Again, not thinking lower of ourselves than we ought to think, but choosing to not think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think either (see Romans 12:3).
And make no mistake about it, this humble opinion of ourselves has a lot to do with us finding this rest for our souls. Why? Because don’t you know that the things which produce stress in our lives—things like worry, anxiety and fear—contain an element of pride in them?
You see, pride is not exactly what we think it is. While pride certainly includes haughtiness, arrogance and being a braggart, at its root, pride is simply “self”—self-centeredness & self-reliance. This certainly includes these more obvious forms of pride that scream— “look at me!” but they include the other more subtle forms of pride that only looks to itself as well. So, for you or I to worry about something that the Lord has told us not to worry about and that He said He would provide for us would be pride on our part because we are not humbling ourselves to our Creator and trusting in who He is and what He has said.
But the fact is that Jesus described Himself this way to us for a couple of reasons: Number one, it was to show us that this is how the Godhead operates. You see, the Lord is not in the business of forcing things on us and driving us like the former yoke—the law—did. No, God is gentle, meek, mild and humble. He does not force His yoke on us; He wants us to take it up and put it on ourselves. As the Lord Jesus said to Pastor Robert, He has come to us, now we must come to Him. But the second reason I believe that Jesus described Himself this way was because He wants us to learn to become that way as well. That is why He didn’t just say for us to take His yoke upon ourselves but also to “learn of Me.”
LEARN FROM ME
So, what did He mean by this? Well, in my opinion, the phrase “learn of Me” is not the best way to translate this. The word “of” here comes from the Greek word apo which literally denotes coming away from something. In other words, it describes where something originates from. So, perhaps a better translation would be— “learn from Me.”
Now there are a couple of ways that we can “learn from” someone else. One is obviously by listening to their words and learning by what they are verbally teaching us. But another, arguably more effective, way to learn from someone is by their example—that is, we watch how they do it themselves and learn by observation.
Therefore, I believe what Jesus was saying here was for us to learn by His example and how He lived His life. So, apparently, we can look at Jesus’ life and learn how to live this stress-free life of rest that He described here. But we can also learn from Him personally too—for Ephesians 4:20-21 teaches us that we can learn directly from Jesus Himself. Amen?
Now we could certainly go through the Gospels and find instance after instance where Jesus Himself kept His heart free from the troubles that surrounded Him, but lest we look at the example of Jesus’ life and think— “Oh, well, that was Jesus. We can’t do that. He was the Son of God … Yadda, yadda, yadda …”--I feel led for us to look at someone else who learned from Christ just like we would have to and see how this man walked in this peace that passes all understanding. No, I am not talking about Peter, James or John. I am talking about the apostle Paul!
You see, the apostle Paul invited us to follow him even as he followed Christ (see First Corinthians 11:1). So, even though this apostle didn’t physically walk with Jesus while He was still on the earth, he had learned how to follow Him and walk with Him by faith. And one could make a case that He knew the Lord Jesus even better than the likes of Peter and John. I know that is strong statement, but there are a lot of things in the New Testament that point to that. My point is that we can follow this man’s example, trusting that he was following Christ himself.
So, let’s turn over to one of this man’s writings—Philippians chapter 4—and begin looking at a passage of Scripture that I believe teaches us how to eliminate the stress from our lives in a very practical and clear way. Yes, I believe these verses we will begin looking at this week are a way for us to “learn from Him” and find rest for our souls.
But I want us to start expounding on the end of this range of verses because this verse shows us why the apostle Paul is such a great example of living free from stress: Notice how in Philippians 4:9 the apostle Paul says of himself, “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”
So, Paul was saying here that everything that this body of believers learned from him by his teachings, received from Him by what he shared with them, heard in him by listening to the way he talked, and saw in him by observing how he lived his life—all of these avenues that Paul used to mentor them—if they would do these things, the God of peace would be with them. And, of course, the same is true for us too.
THE GOD OF PEACE
First of all, what did Paul mean when he said that the God of peace will be with us if we do these things? Didn’t the Lord promise to never leave us nor forsake us? Didn’t He promise that He would be with us, even to the end of the world? Sure, He did! So, why did Paul say that God will be with us if we do the things that He both taught and demonstrated in his life? That seems contrary to these other Scriptures that teach us that God is with us simply because of who we are, not because of what we do, right?
But we must understand that there is a difference between God being with us spiritually and Him being with us experientially (i.e. tangibly in the physical realm around us). God most certainly is with us all the time positionally—in the spiritual sense—but we also have the ability to have Him be manifested in our lives in an experiential and tangible way.
But we need to understand that us physically experiencing Him is not automatic. If it were, we would all be experiencing it—for God is no respecter of persons. No, in my experience, only a few believers consistently carry the presence of the Lord with them in their everyday lives. But this is a blessed place to live, saints—where His presence is experienced, felt, and tasted. Amen!
But the apostle of faith had a specific fruit of God’s tangible presence in mind here. Mind you, the context of all that he was teaching in Philippians 4:6-9 revolved around peace. So, it can be surmised that he is concluding his instructions on walking in the peace of God by saying “the God of peace will be with you,” right? Therefore, it is clear to me why Paul referred to God as “the God of peace” here: Again, it was because the subject up to this point in Philippians chapter four is the peace of God.
Now here is a powerful truth: The fruit of having the God of peace manifested in our lives is having the peace of God manifested in our lives! In other words, when we live in the presence of the God of peace, we will live in the presence of the peace of God. So, when we have peace, we’ve experienced a piece of God. Hallelujah! That is what the Holy Spirit had in mind as He inspired this truth to be recorded!
Therefore, the examples that the apostle Paul gave through his words and deeds are how we can experience more of the God of peace in our lives which, in turn, causes us to experience more of the peace of God in our lives. Peace is the manifest presence of the God of peace.
You see, peace is the manifest presence of God. This is why time spent in the presence of God is so important! Strife is the manifest presence of the devil. But when you have the peace of God all around you, that’s proof that you have God all around you. Fear and strife are the devil personified, while love, joy and peace are the Lord personified!
So, if Paul said that all we need to do to experience the peace of God in our lives is follow his example and his teachings, what is it that we need to follow? Well again, what did he say in verse 9? “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and…” Therefore, the key to experiencing the manifest presence of the God of peace in our lives—which results in us walking in the peace of God—is “doing” these four things.
BEING DOERS OF THE WORD
Now, first of all, we need to camp on these two words “these do” before we move into the four other things that Paul listed. Why? Because it is very easy for us to slip into the deception that because we are hearing the Word of God, that it will begin working in our lives. The Word most definitely works but it only works for those who do it.
Sure, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Sure, there are benefits to continuously hearing the Word of God, like it will renew our minds and can produce fruit in our hearts. But, as James said in his epistle, we need to “be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving ourselves” (see James 1:22).
Saints, it is apparently very easy for us to slip into the mentality that we are “doing” the Word simply because we are coming to hear the Word. There is a subtle lie that our flesh and soul will feed us, and that is, by coming and at least hearing the Scriptures being taught and proclaimed that this is enough to get us blessed. But this is simply not true!
James goes on to say in James 1:25 that when we are a doer of the Word, we will be blessed in what we do—not what we hear, but in what he or she does. Amen!
For example, this is why someone can come to church, attend bible studies, go to Sunday school, listen to teachings through various forms of media like television, CD’s, etc. for year after year and not grow, and not experience change, and not see the fruit of the Word in their lives. Why? Because, as Jesus taught us in His Sermon on the Mount contained in Matthew chapters 5-7 and Luke chapter 6, we must build our house not on just hearing His Words that He taught them on that day, but on applying those principles in their lives. He said this is what will cause their house to be built on the rock and what will enable them to overcome the rain, floods and winds of life.
You see, what were the similarities between both of these guys? They both heard the Word and they both were hit with winds, rains and floods. The only difference was that one did what he heard, and the other didn’t.
Just look at Matthew 7:24, where Jesus concluded all of these strong teachings on asking, seeking knocking, not judging, forgiving, turning the other cheek, etc., etc., etc. with “Therefore, whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock…”
So, Jesus is saying here that the person who does these specific sayings that He laid out in His Sermon on the Mount will be the ones who will overcome when the tough times come against them. And do you see why so many believer’s houses seem so broken and they seem to not overcome the trials and tribulations that the devil throws at them?
For example, do you know what Jesus included on His Sermon on the Mount? In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus told His followers— “Do not worry!” Amen! He gives us specific instructions regarding worrying that help with the perspective issue, but what does He tell us to do as an alternative to not worrying? Verse 33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things (that you tend to worry about) will be added to you.”
So, again, what should we focus on doing when we are tempted to worry? Determine that we will start seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness! This might be us getting our minds off of those troubling thoughts and us seeking ways to put God’s kingdom above our own problems. For instance, when those dark clouds are trying to move in over our heads and its quickly closing in, we rise up immediately and determine to seek first God’s kingdom by finding someone we can bless, listen to, etc. (i.e. meeting others needs first). This releases a supernatural anointing that releases us from the clutches of anxiety. Amen?
So, we need to look at this from time to time and honestly evaluate ourselves by asking the following question: “Am I being a doer of the Word or just a hearer?” Amen?
HOW PAUL HAD PEACE
Now this leads me to my next point because this seeking first the kingdom of God and how it frees us from worry is what we see in the life of the Apostle Paul: Notice what specifically the apostle Paul said that we are to make it a point to do in order to experience more of the God of peace in our lives. Again, he said, “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and…” So, the apostle Paul was using His own example as the basis of experiencing this peace that passes all understanding—specifically what they had “learned, received, heard and saw” in him.
Now what is so powerful about considering the apostle Paul’s example is that this great example of walking in peace had many opportunities to not experience and walk in the peace of God. In other words, His circumstances did not constitute living a life of peace. He had far worse problems and experiences than most of the other apostles, much less than us. Yet, he experienced the manifest presence of the God of peace which enabled Him to walk in the peace. This is what caused him to pray and sing hymns unto God at midnight in that Philippian jail cell. Amen!
So, this should expel all of the ideas we have that— “Well, if this happens to you, then you can’t expect to have peace.” No, if Paul practiced the presence of the God of peace, then you and I can too!
Now Paul was using the example of the things he taught them (i.e. learned, received, and heard) as well as his own example (i.e. saw) to illustrate how we, too, can walk in the peace of God. And while I do not want to necessarily go into an in-depth study of the life of Paul right now, if I could name a couple of things that I have “learned, received, heard and saw” in the life of the apostle of faith that teaches me how I can walk in the peace of God, it would have to be His passion and perspective.
You see, by his own testimony, Paul “labored more abundantly than” all of the rest of the apostles even (First Corinthians 15:10). And I have found that when we are truly seeking first the kingdom of God (as we just saw), this will automatically cause us to slip into that manifest peace that passes all understanding.
You see, the reason some are not experiencing the peace of God is because their focus is on their own kingdom rather than on God’s kingdom. Your peace is found in your place! For example, some of the most peace I have personally ever experienced has been when I was on the mission field. When I am truly seeking first the kingdom of God and it is all about ministering to others, there is a great peace that is experienced. And so I say that because Paul was a more earnest laborer, it yielded a peace in his life that was greater than most Christians have ever experienced.
Secondly, what caused this passion and zeal to seek first the kingdom of God was his perspective:
You see, the apostle Paul was the professor of “Perspective 101!” Amen! This guy saw things through a different filter than even some of the other church leaders. Part of the reason for this was because He had been forgiven of much, therefore, he loved much. But he truly saw things through the eyes of eternity.
We see this in his second letter to the church of Corinth, when he called these painful situations— “light afflictions” (see Second Corinthians 4:17)! The word he used for “light” here literally meant “non-burdensome” and was a reference to the weight of his trials. In fact, this is how Jesus described His burden (i.e. load) that is “light” (see Matthew 11:30). Therefore, Paul was saying that the afflictions that he suffered were not heavy, weighty, or burdensome at all. But aren’t these trials, tribulations and afflictions one of the primary causes of the stress that we experience in our lives? Sure, but Paul said that, when looked at from the correct perspective, they are actually light.
How could he say that? A better question though is how could he view all of his incredibly difficult problems as just being light and we view our much smaller problems as enormous?
The reason the great apostle of faith could view his circumstances in this light is found in the same verse—Second Corinthians 4:17. He went on to reveal in this powerful verse two very important truths regarding his light afflictions:
Number one, he said that they were “but for a moment.” This means that they were temporal—only lasting a short while. But what we need to understand is that many of these afflictions were not just momentary, naturally speaking. Many of them lasted weeks, months and even years. Therefore, Paul could not have been referring to them just being “for a moment” according to this present life. So, what was he referring to? He was saying that they were “but for a moment” in comparison to eternity!
You see, in comparison to eternity, our present life is extremely temporal. In comparison to eternity, our life on this earth is just a brief moment. This is why you see the Bible compare our life to a vapor and to a blade of grass. It uses both of these examples because a vapor appears for a moment and then vanishes away, and a blade of grass appears one day and is gone the next. Saints, our life is but a speck of sand in the beach of eternity. Never forget that.
But Paul does not stop there! He goes on to describe the main reason that he was able to disesteem and devalue his afflictions so much. He said that they are “working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”
The apostle Paul was saying that his difficulties could in no way compare to the reward for successfully enduring and overcoming them! In other words, he saw his afflictions as light because he saw the glory he would receive in exchange for them as heavy! So, in comparison to what he would receive in the kingdom of heaven, his problems were not problems at all for two reasons: Number one, because the reward would be so glorious and magnificent. And, number two, because this awesome glory would be eternal. When we see the riches of His glory in this light—as awesome and eternal—there is truly no comparison. Therefore, our afflictions must be viewed as light and non-burdensome! Thank you, Jesus, for this living and blessed hope we have!
Now let me say this though: this is in no way intended to teach us that our sickness’ and pains are just to be simply endured. No, Jesus paid the price for those kinds of afflictions on the Cross, through His stripes. But the purpose of why we are talking about this is to remove the care and stress over these physical ailments so that we can experience peace. Saints, when we experience the God of peace, we can more readily receive the God of freedom, the God of deliverance and the God of healing! Amen?
So, Paul’s example of passion & perspective certainly provide us with a road map for walking in the peace of God, but notice in Philippians 4:9 how he also referred to the things he taught them as being a part of how they would experience this supernatural peace.
Now in order to find these wonderful words of exhortation of how to walk in the peace of God, we need look no further than the very chapter this promise was made in. So, next week, we will look back at the preceding verses of this chapter so that we can find out how Paul specifically taught us to walk in the peace that he did.
But Paul’s example is a good first step to experiencing the manifest presence of the God of peace in our lives. If we view things like he did and do the things he did, we have the promise that supernatural peace is ours. Determine today to follow Paul as he followed Christ, and you too will walk in the peace of God and freedom from stress. Amen.