“4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
We are given two opportunities to heed this charge- Rejoice in the Lord always! I would venture to say that this is important! The apostle Paul had every reason not to be joyful. In fact, he had the perfect scenario for demonstrating “justified” anxiety (i.e., from a world’s view). His friends were in a disagreement with one another. Also, Euodia and Syntyche were in a disagreement as well which was leading to a division in the church. Even more, Paul was facing the real threat of death. However, through all of these trials and disagreements, Paul reminded us to rejoice in the Lord always.
I believe Charles Spurgeon said it best when he made the following statement:
“I am glad that we do not know what the quarrel was about; I am usually thankful for ignorance on such subjects; – but as a cure for disagreements, the apostle says, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always.’ People who are very happy, especially those who are very happy in the Lord, are not apt either to give offense or to take offense. Their minds are so sweetly occupied with higher things, that they are not easily distracted by the little troubles which naturally arise among such imperfect creatures as we are. Joy in the Lord is the cure for all discord.” (Spurgeon)
Worry can easily lead to destruction and pain. Allowing the spirit of worry, fear, dread, and anxiety to control one’s life only reinforces the opposite of what we are trying to achieve – peace and joy in the Lord! Do not be strangled and choked out by this enemy. God has given us the authority in the name of Jesus to cast out worry and replace it with His perfect love, joy, and peace as we seek Him fully and earnestly.
We learn from this passage that we are to not only talk to God our Father but to make our requests known to Him. In all things, we must stay in constant communication with the Father. Here we find peace – the cure! This type of peace stands “on guard” to protect our hearts and minds. What a great image of the powerful warrior peace standing guard! There is truly nothing to worry about when we fully understand this type of security. Yet, the most amazing thing is our finite minds cannot even fully understand the depths of this promise. However, we trust in faith the promises of God – Yes and Amen!
Question: How can you achieve true peace and joy in your life today? What steps will you take to deliver yourself from worry, anxiety, and fear that is not from God?