Thursday, 26 May 2011

How to win in a losing situation
Often in life you face losing situations: situations that are bigger that you are, that are stronger than you are and that can last longer than you can.
The good news is just because at times you get beat it doesn’t mean you have to lose.

You can lose but actually you still win!
What do I mean by that?

Read: Php 4:2-9
Philippi was a church in Macedonia (Northern Greece) that Paul planted on his second great missionary journey and was the first church to be established in Europe.
When Paul wrote his letter to them during his final imprisonment in Rome, he had been locked up for 2 years!!!!
He was facing death and it seems that this death was imminent.
It was a 'lose' situation!

So Paul writes to the church, because it seems that it was facing some 'lose' situations as well!
It seems that there was some real disunity because there are many encouragements for oneness i.e. 2:1-4 and in 4:2-3 we read about two prominent women falling out.
It was a lose situation!
Not only that, but it seems that in Paul’s letter that the church was facing severe trial from the authorities, because he says things like, 1:29 ‘For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have’.
It was a lose situation!
Not only that, but it seems that some were trying to mingle Judaic ritual into the church and were leading some a stray.
It was a lose situation!

As well as all this there were people who were enemies of the cross in the congregation and were giving a bad example to the believers 3:17-20
It was a lose situation!

But I want you to note that in the midst of these losing situations Paul tells them how they can win!!!
Because in the end it is not what happens to you that causes you to lose in life, it is how you react what happens to you that will cause you to lose in life……. OR WIN!!!

Ps 1:1-3 tells us that we can live in such a way that whatever we do will prosper (not what other may do to you). However, what prospers will be according to whatever you do

Paul writes to the Philippians and tells them 5 things to do to be winners no matter the circumstances of their life

1. Choose the right attitude – Rejoice v4
Not feel happy but rejoice. Choose the right attitude. It is something you choose to do.

2. Express the right emotion – v5 Gentleness; better consideration or gentle forbearance. No matter peoples attitude to you, to be a winner, you have to keep a right emotion towards them.

3. Pray the right prayers – v6 With thanksgiving
It is not just about praying and asking but doing it with thanksgiving.

Interlude: These three things release God’s peace to guard our heart and mind – source and outflow.
If we determine to get these three right we can then……

4. Think the right thoughts – v8 True, noble, right pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy
Gr. Think = logizomai = to ponder, to give proper weight to and to allow the resulting thoughts to influence what you do.
If we don’t think right we won’t do right.
And we won’t think right if we don’t choose the right attitude, develop the right emotion of consideration and forbearance and pray the right prayers.

5. Live the right way – v9 Put into practice
Paul tells them to imitate him as he imitates Christ.
What would Jesus do?????

So learn to win even when you lose. It's possible if you follow the right angle of approach. Ask Paul!