Friday, September 30, 2011

intro to Philippians study

I am excited to say I'm trying something new. I'm going to attempt to be part of a blogger Bible study led by Abigail here. The study is on the book of Philippians. See her blog for details... it would be great if you want to join in with us! I'll be posting my responses each week (assuming little miss continues the current week's trend of Actually Napping Some During the Day!).

For this first week, we read through the whole book of Philippians. I think what struck me most is the idea of rejoicing in current suffering in the hope of eternal rewards/knowing Christ/spending eternity with Christ (haha! I started to put "Chris" instead of "Christ." I hope to spend eternity with Chris, too ;0)
I found this idea in Philippians:
1:19-26
1:29-30
2:30
3:7-14
3:20-21
4:1
4:4-7
4:11-13

I feel like I hear so many sermons, Bible studies, etc. on suffering, and I have a tendency to think, yeah, yeah, I know we're supposed to be glad for trials. In fact, the sermon at our church was on that very topic last Sunday. However, I am realizing that I am not good at this and probably need to keep hearing it until hopefully, one day, it will sink in. I think I find it easier sometimes to fully surrender to Christ and seek His will when I am in the midst of a crisis and everything seems to be falling apart than when things are just sort of chugging along normally. I'm not so good at surrendering to Jesus when it comes to the daily grind-- the more long-term stresses and difficulties of everyday life.

I am sorry to say that I've noticed the following pattern. I get really excited about a new direction in my life when major life changes occur (albeit, with some anxiety added to the excitement), but then as the "honeymoon period" wears off and the inevitable difficulties of daily life set in, I get frustrated that it's not as easy as I had hoped and I begin to wonder if I need a new change. I'm not really the kind of person who likes a lot of change or unpredictability, but man oh man, do I get motivated and start making plans for change when things get tough! I used to think that I was stressed because of difficult circumstances, but I'm afraid to say that I'm realizing that while the stressful circumstances have changed, I have remained stressed and anxious much of the time, with small windows of time when I come to a place of peace in Christ. How ironic that I have a need to be driven into crisis mode before getting to that peaceful place of trusting in God's sovereignty and goodness, and how wonderful it would be if I could get there without having to wait for things to fall apart!

I noticed other ideas/themes (unity among believers, spiritual maturity, perseverence) but will not make this post fifty zillion paragraphs long. I trust that God will use His word and this study to complete the good work He has begun in me. Thank God that we can be "confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
--Phil. 1:6

1 comments:

Abigail... said...

I loved your thoughts on when things get tough-I am very similar and your insight made me ponder my own patterns of "dealing" more.
Also, I have to say after reading your post I felt this great big longing to be in an ACTUAL bible study with you!! The discussion would be awesome ;-)
But, that being said I'm SO GLAD we can do this one together and...in our PJs if the case may be! hehe!