The Fruit of the Spirit
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. . . . And if we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
For if there is no cross of Christ, then there is no truth to Christ . . .
To remove the cross is to remove the hingepin from the door of hope
For if there is no cross, then there is no sacrifice for sin.
If there is no sacrifice for sin, how will you face the sinless God?
Will you cleanse your own sin?
And if there is no cross of Christ, then there is no resurrection of Christ.
And if there is no resurrection, how will you live again?
Will you push back your own grave?
Let there be no mistake, the cross is not an event in history,
it is The Event of History.
Cleansing from sin, access to God's throne room, grace to help, defeat of our enemies, eternal life: Yes, the cross of Christ is The Main Event in history, both in mankind's history and in our personal history. It is the springboard into all the good things of God. Let us prioritize our lives around it.
Philippians 3: 1: Be glad in God.
Philippians 4: 1: Don't waver. Stay on track, steady in God.
Philippians 4:4: Celebrate God all day, every day.
Philippians 4:6&7: Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray.
Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Aha! So "Calm down. Cheer up!" IS good advice. It's just incomplete. It doesn't tell us how to be calm and cheerful. But Philippians 4 does: it's all "in God."
Stay in Him
We see from verses 6 and 7 that we stay in Him by noticing all the good things He does for us through the day(s) and valuing them to the point of celebration. When situations come up that worry us, we don't hold on to worry and try to work things out in our own minds but we ask Him for what is needed, thanking Him for the invitation to bring our concern to Him, thanking Him that when we come in obedience to His word, He hears us.
How long to pray on one specific issue? Philippians 4:6 and 7 give us the answer: Until Christ's peace displaces worry at the center of our lives.