Scripture: Philippians 4: 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Observation: Among the things Paul is writing about in this chapter is division among believers. It’s true that people who equally love the Lord can disagree. Heatedly sometimes. And division creates stress, which fosters worry. Paul encourages us to replace worry with prayer. When we pray we place our concerns in the hands of One who can actually do something about them. And when we have done this, the Lord gives us peace in our hearts.
Application: I’m on vacation from work right now – for the next two weeks. So far I’m enjoying my time off. Our son Nick is home from college in North Carolina and we’re heading off today to visit relatives near Austin. Jana and I enjoy having all the kids home at once since it happens so rarely. I’m sure others of you who have grown kids will appreciate this.
Yet I also find myself in a bit of worry over these children. They’re doing just fine, but sometimes it’s hard to watch them making important choices for the future. We parents hope they’re making the right onces, but only time will tell. And I suppose the truth is that Jana and I are still getting used to the fact that we are no longer the ones making these decisions for them. They are old enough to decide for themselves – which is exactly as it should be. And it’s also a bit scary. 🙂
What about you? You worried today? What are you worried about? Family? Job? Health? Finances? Faith? It’s a human tendency to worry, that’s for sure. But today Paul reminds us to direct our anxious energy to pray rather than worry. In prayer, we give over our concerns to the One who can make a difference. And, in turn, we receive the “peace that passes understanding”.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we people are a worrying lot. It’s our nature, which you know well. Yet we realize that worrying doesn’t really accomplish much – particularly when we have so little control over things. Give us grace, O God, to turn over our worries to you. Give us peace that only you can give. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.