As I read your Word today, Lord God, open my mind and heart to its truths and change me through them. I want others to see that I am changed because of the gospel.
Read PHILIPPIANS 4:2-9
2 I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Verse 6 encourages ‘thanksgiving.’ What are the things in your life you especially want to thank God for?
Recent years have seen much turmoil. Covid-19 affected us all to some degree, but for you there may have been other struggles. Whatever your situation, there is much to feel anxious about. Verses 6 and 7 are like a doctor’s note, prescribing the antidote to anxiety. On one level the prescription is simple: bring everything without exception to God in prayer. The words ‘anything’ and ‘in every situation’ are truly all-encompassing. These verses are very special to me and I know them by heart – though this doesn’t mean I always put them into practice! Yet what a promise they offer when we do! God’s peace can guard the castle of our heart, standing sentinel on the walls, stopping worries from breaking through. What further encouragement do we need?
We have additional weapons in our arsenals as we wage war against anxiety. Another way we battle our fears is to concentrate our attention on all that is ‘excellent’ and ‘praiseworthy’ (v 8). It might be the innate beauty of creation, such as a wonderful view or exquisite birdsong, or it could be something lovely which humans, with all their God-given potential, have produced, such as a well- written book or great music. Ultimately, however, we are to think of Jesus and rejoice in him (v 4), for truth, nobility, and all the other qualities mentioned in verses 8 and 9 are found supremely in him. With this change of focus we find that our worries are kept at bay; there is simply no room left for them, for God’s peace and joy now reign supreme. This is the ideal of course! Nearly all of us struggle with fears at some time, so don’t feel discouraged. Nevertheless, God has given us a wonderful prescription for anxiety. With his help, let’s follow the remedy.
Put verses 6 and 7 into practice by lifting your anxieties to God, resolving to leave them with him. What positive things will you think about today instead?
Holy Spirit, help me to see myself through the lens of your holiness. Show me where I need to be more like my Savior, Jesus.
Last Updated on December 30, 2023 by kingstar