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 your minds in Christ Jesus.Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice.And the God of peace will be with you.Philippians 4:4-9
Finding meaning and peace in the midst of the chaos of 2020 has brought me to the verses above.
When reading these verses we need to remember that Paul wrote these words while a prisoner in Rome. Wrongfully arrested, he had every reason to complain, yet he focused on rejoicing. Both his teaching and example provide an amazing model. Every believer should seek to rejoice in the Lord despite difficult situations, just as Paul did.
In these verses, he notes believers shouldn’t be “anxious about anything.” This does not imply a complete lack of concern. Nor does this mean believers are going to live a worry-free life. Instead we should focus on God.
God’s peace is supernatural and unexplainable. It is truly amazing how God can and will respond during times of difficulty. Instead of dwelling on the difficulties of life, we should look at what is true, lovely, just, commendable, pure, excellent, honorable, and praiseworthy.
Paul’s instructions are not merely meant to be read, they are meant to be put into action.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.