Serena and Katie are roommates staying in the room two doors down from me. When I began researching the meanings of their names, my mind went straight to my favorite passage in Philippians.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say again, be full of joy.
Let everyone see that you are gentle and kind. The Lord is coming soon.
When we read the uplifting statement, “The Lord is coming soon,” it is easy to see why Paul tells the church in Philippi to be joyful. We have so much to look forward to! Heaven will be glorious, peaceful, and blessed–let’s rejoice!
But right now, we are on earth. We cannot physically see God. We still struggle with sin. We have human needs and worldly pressures. Often, it is hard to rejoice.
Do not worry about anything…
And it gets worse. We have to pay bills, pass classes, meet deadlines, and feed our families. The world is full of wars, fights, and conflict. People are poor and hungry. There are thousands of orphans across the globe. Diseases are spreading, and there is a lack of clean drinking water. How can we rejoice? How can we praise God?
…but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks…
Really? Pray? Give thanks? What sort of demented person can pray and give thanks in the midst of this turmoil?
And God’s peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
That is how we can give thanks, be gentle, and rejoice. God gives us peace. He gives us serenity. Just as Christ calmed raging seas, God makes tumultuous hearts serene.
Brothers and sisters, think about the things that are good and worthy of praise. Think about the things that are true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected.
It is much easier to praise God when we focus on things that are praiseworthy. When we consider how true, honorable, right, pure, and beautiful God is, we see why He always deserves our praise.
Do what you learned and received from me, what I told you, and what you saw me do. And the God who gives peace will be with you.
– Philippians 4:4-9
Don’t be worried, stressed, or discouraged. God gives pure peace.