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 minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4: 4-7
In this 24 hour space of time, which will prevail in your heart and mind – fear or faith? We sometimes mistakenly believe that our circumstances will be the determining factor of whether or not we can experience the peace of mind that transcends all understanding. Thus, we need to take our cue from what the Bible tells us about our internal wellbeing. The apostle Paul made the stunning declaration that he learned to be content in all circumstances.
I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through him who gives me strength.
Paul makes it evidently clear that no matter how difficult our life is today we can learn to be not only content but we can live in perfect inner peace (even when our circumstances don’t change).
Sound impossible? Reread these dynamic passages found in Philippians 4 again. Let each verse, each powerful truth sink deeply into your heart and mind. Paul suffered more for his faith than any other apostle. Yet he consistently lived a life as an overcomer because he counted every single loss he endured as nothing compared to the glory to be revealed in Christ. Paul likewise exhorts us to learn to make giving thanks our default response. Indeed.
During good times and bad, Paul discovered the powerful spiritual principle that comes into play when we choose the following. 1) Honor the Lord by trusting him in the midst of our confusion, pain, and suffering. 2) Run to Him in prayer and supplication each and every time we feel as though we can’t make it another step. 3) Discipline our thoughts to focus on the faithfulness of God. 4) Train ourselves to see every situation through the lens of eternity.
We can live out this 24 hour space in faith as we reject those fear-driven thoughts and place ourselves into the care and keeping of our loving Heavenly Father. As Philippians 4 tells us, “The Lord is near.” Let’s learn to reframe our thoughts and our circumstances by trusting the Lord as our perfect provider and good shepherd. Only then can we exhale the burdens of this life into his care and keeping. For we know that God alone is in control…and that enduring truth is eternally reassuring to every child who belongs to Him.
Questions for Personal Reflection:
- Take a few moments to reflect upon the day and ask yourself if you gave way to fear rather than trusting in God to supply your needs?
- Before bed, take time to pray and ask the Lord to reveal any fears, worries, or anxieties that are hindering you from resting deeply at night?
- Spend five minutes every day this week meditating upon these passages from Philippians 4 and then memorize them.
- Journal your primary prayers requests today and spend a few moments looking up specific verses to go along with each request.