Peace Without Pills

Bible Book: Philippians 
Subject: Peace

The mind is God's original computer. We know that computers are worthless unless they have been programmed. All that can come out of the computer is what we put into it. Likewise I can only think thoughts that have been put into my mind. These thoughts create my attitudes, attitudes control my mind, and my mind controls my lifestyle. "As a person thinks in his heart, so is he." (Proverbs 23:6). "Attitudes are more important than facts." (Menninger).

The Apostle Paul discusses this practical psychology in the Book of Philippians. He points out the thieves, which would rob us of our joy, and then he shows the attitudes or mind-set we must have in order to slay these "thieves."

I. THIEF #1 - CIRCUMSTANCES. (Chapter 1)

The happiness of most people depends upon circumstances. A little girl, named Peggy, said to her girlfriend, "Dad must have had an easy day at the office. He didn't squeal the tires when he pulled in the driveway, and he didn't slam the door when he came in the house. And he even gave Mom a kiss." Good day, good circumstances therefore joy! But did you ever stop to think if our happiness depends upon circumstances we are going to be miserable most of the time. We have no control over the weather, or the traffic on the expressway or over the things other people may say and do. The poet Bryon wrote, "Men are the sport of circumstances."


A Single Mind to Serve Jesus. Paul discusses his difficult circumstances in his prison cell, but his circumstances cannot rob him of joy because he is not living to enjoy circumstances. He is living to serve Jesus Christ. He says, "For to me to live is Christ..." (Philippians 1:21). He could, therefore, say, "I have learned to be content no matter my circumstances." 4:11). When you have the single mind to serve Jesus, your circumstances work for you and not against you.

II. THIEF #2 - PEOPLE. (Chapter 2)

A little girl jumped off the bus as it stopped at her home and slammed her way through the front door. She marched defiantly up the stairs into her room and slammed the door. All the time she was muttering under her breath, "People-people-people-PEOPLE-." Her Dad knocked at the door, asking, "May I come in?" "No," she replied. He asked, "Why can't I come in?" Her answer, "Because you're a people." All of us have lost our joy because of people - what they are, what they say, and what they do. David and Jeremiah (Psalm 55:6 and Jeremiah 9:2) got so fed up with people that they prayed to fly away out of the reach of people. One man said, "I love humanity, but I can't stand people."


Have a servant's heart to serve people. "In humility of mind, esteem your fellow man better (more important) than yourself." (2:3) As long as we look upon people as problems, we are going to be miserable. But when we realize that God has put people around us to win to Christ, build up, to encourage, we find them a challenge and a joy.

III. THIEF #3 - THINGS. (Chapter 3)

What thieves of joy they can be. Yet Jesus warns, " A Man's life consisteth not in abundance of things which he possesses." (Luke 12:15). Things are like saltwater. The more you have the thirstier you become. When asked how much money would satisfy a person, John D. Rockefeller replied, "Just a little bit more."


Look at things from heaven's viewpoint. That is, regard material things as not something to make you happy, but to be used for the glory of God. Paul warns us not to "mind earthly things." (3:19). "For our citizenship is in heaven, from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." (3:20). The person with the spiritual mind looks at the things of this world from heaven's point of view - and what a difference that makes.

IV. THIEF #4 - WORRY. (Chapter 4)

Worry is actually wrong thinking (the mind) and wrong feelings (the heart) about circumstances, people and things. So if we have the single mind to serve Christ, a servant mind to serve people, and the spiritual mind towards things, we should not have too much trouble with worry. But worry is an "inside job." It is the favorite "indoor sport" of Americans. You must whip it with determined, aggressive action, or it will whip you.



Substitute Praying for your Worrying. "Do not under any circumstances worry about anything, but pray about everything, and the peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, shall guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ." (Vs. 6-7). The average Christian has that reversed. He worries about everything and in very few things prays. A famous doctor emphasized the truth by negative thinking, "Why Pray When You Can Worry."


AS YOU LEAVE TODAY, begin cultivating the attitudes, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, that will conquer the Four Great Thieves of Joy:

#1 CIRCUMSTANCE - Begin to have a single mind to serve Jesus

#2 PEOPLE - Begin to look upon people as God's challenge for ministry and service

#3 THINGS - Begin to regard things from heaven's viewpoint

#4 WORRY - Begin to pray rather than worry

And you will find PEACE WITHOUT PILLS, indeed the "peace that is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand." (Philippians 4:7, TLB)

Remember you can purchase sleep at the drugstore, but only the Lord can give you peace - PEACE WITHOUT PILLS. Be sure you know Him and trust Him - not the many kinds of superficial "pills" which allure us but leaves us empty.