“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 NIV
Wait for it! The video greeting always compels me to see it to the end. Wait for the peace of God to show up when you rejoice and heed these Pauline instructions (scroll down for Part 1,2 and 3 for more on this). If we do ‘churchy things’, as some call them, and our ‘gentleness is not evident’ then the Lord may NOT be so near. If our worship times and prayers are followed up with harsh words to others, quick tempers or gossip, to name a few, that peace can be very elusive. This comprehensive list is complete in many ways, but not intended for one time or occasional use and is made clear by the admonition “in every situation”.
Presenting our requests to God occurs “in His will” when we give our nature over to Him and ‘celebrate the grace that God so freely gives us every day by admitting how much we need it’ *. When we claim redemption by the saving grace of God’s gift to us we are “in Christ Jesus”. The peace that follows does, in fact, transcend understanding and I often find this peace exploding into an inner joy that cannot help but overflow into all that I do.
God doesn’t renege on His promises. Our giving over to God our acts of praise, worship and prayer are what God needs and in this process He graces us with what we need. If you haven’t thought of God needing humanity, give some thought to His motivations of creation…….to be continued
*a paraphrase from New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp
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