Todays thought is from Tom.
“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”. (Philippians 4:4-7)
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
How on earth can we rejoice at a time like this? Perhaps it is very hard but allow your mind to consider any good thing that you have heard over the last short time even if it is very small and rejoice, allow yourself to be very happy about it for even a moment… Paul is encouraging us to see all of these “small” things.
Ponder his phrase again before moving on to the next
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Here he asks us to be gentle with everyone, allow the “good stuff” to flow from you as he reminds us that The Lord himself is truly near each of us…
Consider that for a moment – NEAR us!
Do not be anxious about anything,
Ah now hold on a minute, the other was tough but this is impossible with this invisible enemy out there and we do not know when it might attack us or our loved ones. Wonderful if it were possible but surely its a bridge too far? Well he is about to give us the answer but before you move on
Pause and imagine what it would be like not to be anxious
but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And here is a great BUT! He is asking us to take EVERY situation (including pandemics) and petition, pray and present to the Lord. But see the rider… with thanksgiving… whatever the situation is there is always something to give thanks for, that we are not alone in it, that it is only temporary, that God is with us, that God is willing to listen to our prayers at this dark time. Gratitude changes the whole dynamic of prayer, allowing the positive to shine through
Be thankful AND ask the Lord to sort our issues, challenges and problems, both at the same time! Stop, breathe slowly, and begin to list what you can be thankful for at this difficult time
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
And what a promise Paul assures us of. The peace of God, will enter our hearts, even in the midst of the storm, whatever it is. It will guard (protect) our heart and mind – our emotions and our rational thought in Jesus Christ.
You might want to slowly read all of Paul’s words above again, as you conclude.
Allow yourself to be blessed with this great promise and assurance.