A Path to Peace

Philippians 4:4-7 “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 4:4-7

For the last 35 years, I’ve read, studied, and clung to these words. Today they are as new and fresh to me as if I had never heard them.

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.”

Rejoice today? Yes, today. The repetition is needed. Tell me again. Rejoice.

“Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.”

As stress and pressures mount, what an excellent filter for my words and actions: reasonableness.

“The Lord is at hand…”

Ah, both accountability and comfort sandwiched here as a hinge for two great truths to rest upon. Lord, I answer to you whether I am being reasonable or not. You are at hand. You see my actions. You hear my words.

“…do not be anxious about anything…”

And because You are here, I need not be anxious about anything. Interesting, isn’t it? Most of my unreasonableness is fueled by my anxieties. When that inward prick pierces, perhaps it’s time to evaluate. What are the anxieties behind my unreasonableness? How can I take my anxieties to the Lord?

“…but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

You invite me to Yourself. You invite me to depend on You. But if I come with demands, kicking and screaming, I miss the point of Your invitation. Today, I will approach You with thankfulness, because yes, I have so very much to be grateful for.

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Your peace is conditional here. It rests on me doing two things: Being thankful and letting my requests be made known to God. Oh, how my heart and mind need to be guarded today! Give me eyes to see all your blessings today. Strengthen me to pause, to shut off the noise of the news, and to truly count all these blessings. And as each worry pops into my mind, grant me the wisdom to pluck it before it takes root and to turn that worry in a prayer of dependence upon You.

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