From Phillippians 4…
4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I like this very familiar passage because it reminds me of several basic things, that I need to hear each and every day:
* Rejoice in the LORD! He is my God, my Saviour, my provision, my king! How can I not rejoice in his goodness to me? There is no qualifier placed on rejoicing in him; I am exhorted to find my joy in him in whatever circumstances I find myself. And just to be clear: This is not an executive order to “suck it up” when we are in the depths of despair, but a loving reminder to us from our Heavenly Father that he is sufficient for whatever this life throws our way.
* Let your GENTLENESS be evident to all. My er, gentleness has been anything but of late, I am ashamed to say. Some versions refer to this word as forbearance, or patience. I can always use more of this, and let’s just say there are four little people and one big people whom I live with that would not mind seeing a bit more gentleness from yours truly!
* The admonition to refrain from being anxious carries with it a precious promise: that the PEACE OF GOD which passes all understanding will further guard my heart and mind in Christ.
* A reminder to choose to PRAY instead of fretting, to bring to God both our concerns and our thanks! Pray instead of worrying!! Pour out your heart full of concerns to him! And THANK HIM for that peace which he alone can bring into the darkest of situations.