Joy in the Extremes-S7Ep9
This podcast covers Lesson 8 of Radical Acts Bible Study by Melanie Newton.
Joy in the Extremes
Living life in the extremes
Living in the extremes had become an accepted part of Paul’s life following Christ. Philippians 4:11-13
Paul practiced learning to be content amidst the extremes of life and discovered that those extremes gave him opportunity to reveal Jesus in him.
Expectations can become sinkholes for us.
Two types of storms hit us—those caused by our own disobedience and those that hit through no fault of our own.
When we go through such difficulties of life, we all have what we would consider acceptable outcomes. But, those expectations can become sinkholes if we try to hold onto them too tightly.
Joy requires us to release our expectation of acceptable outcomes.
When we approach troubles with expectations of what we think are acceptable outcomes and then something else happens, our disappointment and anger can explode like geysers shooting out of a “now-empty pond.”
We need to hold onto those expected answers with open fingers. We must release them to Jesus, and let Him decide what to do.
Paul gave us an example of how to do that regarding his own life and ministry. Philippians 1:12-18
Paul released his expectation of only one acceptable outcome. Getting out of prison would be great. But, if God chose to leave him there or to have him executed, Paul considered those as acceptable outcomes as well. And, he could rejoice at any one of God’s acceptable outcomes.
[Paul] could maintain a truly joyful attitude, even in unpleasant circumstances, because he derived his joy from seeing God glorified—rather than from seeing himself exalted. (Dr. Tom Constable’s Notes on Philippians 2019 Edition, p. 32)
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” (Chuck Swindoll)
Rejoice at God’s acceptable outcome
When you release your expectation of acceptable outcomes, you can rejoice at what God has done or is going to do instead of complaining about what God did not do. John 11: 1-44
We can avoid the sinkholes of unreleased expectations by releasing them. Trust in His goodness in whatever He chooses to do in that situation.
It’s okay to ask for your heart’s desire. But, leave the decision in His hand. Accept the outcome that He provides. And, let Him fill your heart with joy in whatever He chooses to do.
What trials are you going through right now? What in your mind do you expect to happen as acceptable outcomes? Maybe it’s time to release those expectations and stay on solid ground.
Our reactions to those extremes, whether comfort or pain, reveal to those around us the reality of Jesus Christ in our lives. In fact, we discover more about our own hearts as we face the extremes of life—whether we will be faithful to Christ alone in the midst of what the world might consider “success” or “failure.” In each, we can learn to say with Paul, “To live is Christ.”
That’s the adventure of living life in the extremes with Christ. We can do it joyfully.
Let Jesus satisfy your heart with His Spirit’s transforming power. And say yes to a life of adventure with Him!
Until next time, I’m Melanie Newton. And, this is Series 7 of Satisfied.