Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The
Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus.
Do not be anxious
According to Amazon, Philippians 4:6-7 is the most highlighted bible passage from their best
selling Kindle books. This fact may give us some insight into what’s most relevant to people
today. Approximately 40 million people suffer from an anxiety disorder in any given year in the
United States. We are living in the most prosperous and peaceful time in history. Yet more
people suffer with anxiety than ever before. We can only imagine how many more people are
suffering from anxiety in the midst of the pandemic that we’re living in.
Three things that stand out to me in this passage are “Rejoice”, Prayer” & “Thanksgiving”. These are vertical relationship components that are integral parts to a healthy relationship with the Father. They are reflections of our affections and put us in a posture of humility with the only
One that provides peace beyond all understanding. Paul describes this peace as that which “will
guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Jesus cares about our anxious hearts. As
we celebrate who He is by rejoicing in praise, as we commune with Him in prayer, and show
gratitude and recognition with thanksgiving, our faith grows. A shift of focus starts to occur in our hearts and minds from anxiety about our circumstances on earth to peace about an eternal
purpose amidst our suffering.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).
This faith is handing control over to our creator. We are, in a sense, asking Him to use whatever
circumstance we face for His good and His glory. After all, He’s much better at taking care of us
than we are. His love and value for us demonstrates that.
“Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body,
what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the
birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father
feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:25–26)
My brothers & sisters, “The Lord is near.” Draw near to Him in this challenging moment in your
life. He will give you peace. This peace isn’t just a calmed mind. It includes intimacy in your
vertical relationship with Him, and it will help you see this moment in history as an opportunity
for mission instead of just trying to cope with life. Will you commit to “Rejoice” in the love &
grace of our Savior, to spend time in “Prayer”, and bow in a posture of “Thanksgiving”?