From Stan Davis
In these, what could be unsettling times, we as God's children have the opportunity to be a great light to the world. We have an opportunity to see through a different set of eyes.
I see a lot of emotions happening around us daily: anger, resentment, fear, blame, mistrust, denial, isolation, and many other fearful reactions. We have the opportunity to see God's glory in all things that happen in our life.
I love how Philippians 4:4-7 instructs us in this very happening we are experiencing today. Let me paraphrase the text. In verse 4 we are told first to “rejoice in the Lord always”. Paul emphasizes this point saying this again, “rejoice in the lord always”. If anyone had the right to anger, resentment, fear, mistrust, denial, isolation, or any other reaction rather than rejoicing Paul certainly did.
In verse 5 he gives us another instruction, “let your gentle spirit be known to all men”. This a quality by which the gospel message can be spread, the message of the cross, with its reminder for us that the Lord is always near. He is our strength and our understanding, in whom we can rely on all things for present and future.
In verse 6 he addresses our very nature saying, “be anxious for nothing”. This will reveal in whom our trust rests. If our reliance is solely in God to supply our needs in all ways, our anxiety will slowly disappear. If we are trusting in ourselves our anxiety will exponentially increase.
Next, Paul teaches that we as believers are to make our requests known to God and he adds to this, "with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”. What a beautiful statement for the believer! He doesn’t just say requests, but requests with thanksgiving. I love the way Casting Crowns put it, in their song “Great are You Lord”, with the phrase “It's your breath in our lungs so we pour out our praise to you only”. Our very breath, life itself, is sustained by a God that cares deeply for His children.
God gives us a promise in verse 7 after instructing us to rejoice in all things; be gentle to all people, be anxious for nothing, and lift up your praises with thanksgiving, your needs and requests to your Father who is always near. He says that God's peace that passes all understanding will guard our hearts and mind in Christ Jesus. I can personally attest to His peace in turmoil.
Your Brother in Christ,