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Resetting - Renewing - Restoring - Rejoicing

IN A HOLDING PLACE: BEING PREPARED FOR THE NEXT LEVEL
Tuesday; June 27, 2017
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:11-13
TODAY’S CHALLENGE – is ADD VALUE. Delight in beauty, and you make it more beautiful. Cherish life, and you make it more meaningful. Be thankful for the good things, and you make them even better. Make use of your strengths, and they become even stronger. Share your joy, and it becomes far more joyful. Give your love, and there’s more of it to have. Be happy with the little victories, and they soon merge together into big accomplishments. Appreciate every moment, and they will bring you great treasure. Focus your thoughts and your feelings on the goodness that’s there in your present situation. Then consider what you can do to make that goodness grow. Every day, every hour, every action, word, and thought is an opportunity to add value to life. The more of those opportunities you seize and fulfill, the better life will surely become.
IN A HOLDING PLACE: BEING PREPARED FOR THE NEXT LEVEL. Who doesn’t love Philippians 4:11-13. But I’ve found that many of us don’t understand its context. It is definitely deeper than the Christian self-help it has become in recent times. Paul refers to his ability through Christ to keep at an even keel while facing the highs and lows of his life. He expresses how the grace of God offers him contentment. So, let’s back up a little. Paul, a prisoner now and finalizing his letter to the Philippian Christians, thanks them for their generosity to him. Then, he quickly clarifies that he doesn’t bring up the matter for any new need he has…and this is where the important context begins. For I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need” This is a revealing glimpse at Paul’s life. His words comfort us in our trials today because someone as sage and godly as he is transparent enough to share his own holding places in the will of God. What does Paul mean by content? Surely, he desired to be out of that prison. His churches were better served by his presence among them; after all, he’s sending them a letter here. Certainly, he preferred a full stomach to a grumbling one and peaceful presentations of the gospel instead of violent protests. If we’re not careful, we will make Paul say that he was satisfied with his circumstances. But consider yourself: perhaps there was a time when you didn’t have the things you needed. Did that cancel your desire to have more or better, especially if someone depended on you? No, it didn’t. Think about the plan God has shown you for your life. Maybe you’re in a hard place right now and simply cannot fathom how he will make good on his promise. Although it’s difficult now, God showed you his plan at the start to provide you hope for when the good times turned. He doesn’t mean for you to build a home in the wasteland. IN A HOLDING PLACE: BEING PREPARED FOR THE NEXT LEVEL
But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
I pray that out of the riches of His glory, He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being. Ephesians 3:16
Being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have full endurance and patience, and joyfully. Colossians 1:11
IN A HOLDING PLACE: BEING PREPARED FOR THE NEXT LEVEL. Instead, Paul’s contentment means he was inwardly self-sufficient, not requiring outside support. It means that he was indeed satisfied with the grace of God that propelled him forward in the divine will despite his external circumstances. In fact, it was knowing that wherever he was in life somehow accomplished the will of God for him; and because of that he could do all things through Christ who strengthened him. The scope is pervasive, all-inclusive. Herein we are offered a deep lesson about what we possess and don’t possess. The highs and lows enter our lives to lend us perspective and never to disturb our rest in God. For whatever may come, we cling to grace, not things. Let me sum it up this way: Contentment is to not worry about anything you see around you or off in the distance, whether it’s your natural sustenance or the very promises of God. But it is to learn and progress right where you stand. And it is to trust God—Who knows exactly where you are in the holding place—until He lands you where He wants you next. IN A HOLDING PLACE: BEING PREPARED FOR THE NEXT LEVEL
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.“ Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Psalm 91.
 
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Pamela Guy-Strayhorn
901/210-8393

BUT THOSE WHO WAIT ON THE LORD SHALL RENEW THEIR
STRENGTH; THEY SHALL MOUNT UP WITH WINGS LIKE
EAGLES, THEY SHALL RUN AND NOT BE WEARY, THEY
SHALL WALK AND NOT FAINT.
Isaiah 40:31