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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of September 10, 2018

Stability is the mark of a mature Christian.

God has given us peace so that we can be stable even in the midst of hard times. In John 14:27, Jesus says, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives."

In this verse, Jesus tells us that He has left us his peace. Jesus' peace, however, isn't like the world's peace, which depends on your circumstances; rather, God's peace is internal. God's peace allows believers to be stable even in the midst of hard circumstances, difficult trials, and uncertain times.

It's no wonder Paul said that he could be content, i.e. stable, in all circumstances: "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." (Philippians 4:11-12). What was Paul's "secret"? "I can do everything through him who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:13).

The key to contentment and stability is living in, through, and with God in everything. Like Paul, a mature Christian is able to remain content and stable in all circumstances.

Have you learned to take a long-term look at your short-term problems?

Whenever something frustrating happens, don't immediately become upset. Instead, ask yourself if this problem is really worth getting aggravated over: is this a five minute problem, a five hour problem, a five month problem, or a five year problem?

For example, if you can't find where around your house you left your car keys, don't let that steal your love, joy, peace, or patience. Being five minutes late to most things is not worth losing your joy. Similarly, if you're stuck in a traffic jam, don't let that ruin your Fruit of the Spirit. It's not worth getting upset and uptight about a ten minute delay on your way to work. Indeed, ten minutes is nothing compared to all of eternity.

Also, remember that God may be using your short-term problem for a long-term purpose. That's why James 1:2-4 says, Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. God will work through your current trials and difficulties in order to produce lasting benefits such as faith, perseverance, and spiritual maturity. That's why it's important to take a long-term look at your short-term problems.

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