Rejoice in the Lord always. will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but 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)
It seems strange that a man in prison would be telling a church to rejoice. We can learn a lot about attitudes from Paul.
Our inner attitudes do not have to reflect our outward circumstances
Ultimate joy and peace comes from Christ dwelling within us. No matter what happens, Jesus Christ is within us.
In all situations–everything–I need to run and talk to my Father about it. That should be my first thought and my first action. And, because I have done first things first, I have joy in the midst of tragedy. Because my confidence is in Him, I am calm, gentle and at peace instead of freaking out at that crisis, and anxious about a doomsday coming…..rather real or perceived.
Even if things do go differently, remember…….
……..sometimes, when things seem to be falling apart, they are actually falling into place
He guards our hearts and our minds with His supernatural peace.
It’s His supernatural peace that enables us rest peacefully and to know in the middle of all the chaos, that we are “covered and under his wings in refuge”
……in the middle of all those unplanned crazy times, “his faithfulness is our shield and rampart”
……when we just don’t know how things will turn out, we can rest peacefully, because in Him, we “will not fear the terror of the night (unknown), nor the arrow that flies by day” (known possible attacks/crisis/tragedy)
……because we “dwell in the shelter of the Most High and rest in the shadow of the Almighty!”
……In the midst of everything we will say, “the Lord is my refuge, and my fortress and in whom I trust!” (Psalm 91)
……and we will say THANK YOU! Thank You Jesus, for you are near! I feel You! I see You! Thank You!
How do I know? Because I’ve been here. I was just here four days ago, and He was faithful. He will be again.