Living Beyond the Circumstance

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. –Philippians 4:6-7

Kathleen’s parents are getting a divorce. Matt’s mom is an alcoholic. Lindsey’s dad was fired from his job. Tony didn’t make the cut on the basketball team. Jana has never had a date. And Jared had to have his third operation in three years. Each person is living under some pretty crummy circumstances. Each one of them wishes that his or her problem would disappear. Each has prayed about his or her issue and yet the problem won’t go away.

What are your problems? No doubt, like all of us, you, too, have issues that make your life less than perfect.

Your circumstances may never change, but your attitude can change; when it does, it makes all the difference in the world. If you can do something about your problems, then by all means, make a wise decision. If you can get rid of them, do it. However, there are some problems you have no control over. These are problems that can teach you a lesson to live beyond your circumstances.

Terry Fox ran a marathon every day for 143 days to raise money for cancer research until his own cancer forced him to stop. He ran on one leg; the other leg had been amputated because of cancer.*

Rachel was beaten by her mother and abused by her father. Although life wasn’t easy, she decided to get help. Her past couldn’t change, so she worked through her attitude. Today she helps other teenagers from abused homes find a meaningful life.

What about you? Do you need a dose of attitude change today? With God’s help you can overcome almost any problem. Don’t wait another day for an attitude adjustment. Learn to be thankful even in the midst of difficult circumstances. The result is “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

1. What steps can you take in your own life to live beyond your circumstances?

2. What is the formula found in Philippians 4:6-7 that will guarantee you peace?

Psalm 62:1-2, 5-8

* “Facts About Terry,” The Terry Fox Foundation

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Jim Burns

Jim Burns

Jim Burns is the President of HomeWord and the Executive Director of the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim speaks to thousands of people around the world each year. He has close to 2 million resources in print in 30 languages. He primarily writes and speaks on the values of HomeWord which are: Strong Marriages, Confident Parents, Empowered Kids, and Healthy Leaders. Some of his most popular books are: Confident Parenting, The Purity Code, Creating an Intimate Marriage and Closer. Jim and his wife, Cathy live Southern California and have three grown daughters, Christy, Rebecca and Heidi.

  • About HomeWord

    HomeWord helps families succeed by creating Biblical resources that build strong marriages, confident parents, empowered kids and healthy leaders. Founded by Jim Burns and supported by Doug Fields, HomeWord and Azusa Pacific University have partnered to form The HomeWord Center for Youth and Family. Learn More »

  • About Azusa Pacific University

    APU is a leading Christian college ranked as one of the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Located near Los Angeles in Southern California, APU is a Christian university offering associate’s, bachelor’s, master's, doctoral, and degree completion programs, both on campus and online. Learn More »

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