Topic: Philippians 1:12-14
Did Paul ever face feelings of discouragement? Yes. In 2 Corinthians 1:8, we read that the trials he faced were so horrendous that he thought he might lose his life. Paul learned to live above his circumstances, and you can too. Here is how he did it:
Focus on God and not the problem. As you deal with life's trials keep the eyes of your heart focused on Jesus Christ. He has the sovereign ability to handle whatever you are facing. When you relinquish control, God is free to work in a miraculous way.
Focus on the sovereignty of God and not on the will of man. Seeking the counsel of others always is a wise idea, and the Bible supports this. However, be sure what your friends tell you aligns with God's Word, which is your ultimate authority. Seek godly counsel from others but make sure that you do what King David did: He spent time alone with God in prayer. The Bible says he "sat before the Lord" (2 Samuel 7:18). God reveals Himself to those who seek His face.
Focus on positive results and not personal pain. No one enjoys hardship. However, when trials come ask the Lord to show you what He wants you to learn from the situation and how you can apply those lessons to your life. Paul lived above his circumstances because his focus was set on the Savior and not on the trial. As a result, he gained a tremendous victory.
Who do you turn to when you face discouragement? Who should you turn to, including both Jesus and His body of believers on Earth?