Those of us who have raised children know very well the up and down emotions of a child. Crying one moment and laughing the next. Hungry, or dissatisfied with something, they may “throw a fit”. The emotions of a child run the whole gamut of emotions readily in a very short time.
Only children? Do we not, as adults, do that too? Don’t we often allow the situations we find ourselves in to take control of our emotions? Don’t we, at times, allow external situations to overwhelm us, so that we feel and act in a “fitful” way?
Sometimes what upsets us is a very real and present stress. The loss of a job. The loss of a loved one. An uncontrollable plummet of emotions. But at other times (and more often than not), it is something minor that sends us into orbit. Traffic lights when we are running behind. Trying to navigate through traffic, when the GPS is telling us to go down a road that is blocked off by construction. Some unexpected computer glitch, people, and other common frustrations of life.
Current situations will continue to define our happiness or way of thinking, until we are Christ-defined rather than situation-defined. There are Christians, who right in the very middle of a crisis in their lives reveal such a trusting faith in Jesus. Maybe you have experienced this yourself. They display the peace that transcends all understanding, as the Father brings comfort amidst turmoil; tranquility in the middle of anxiety and uncertainty.
Also, beyond that, there is the everyday. The many things we struggle with as men or women is the ability to calmly, rationally, objectively engage life and deal with the various situations. And as believers, we ought to do better and better at this.
Paul writes in Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, ‘Rejoice’”. Where is the apostle when he writes the letter? Prison! Rejoice? Have joy? You better believe it! But only in Christ. Circumstance Christ-defined rather than situation-defined.
May God help us to mature.
(From an article by Jason Reeves, formerly at West Erwin church of Christ, Tyler, TX)