Recently, I led a Sunday morning bible class titled “Favorite Verses” at the church I attend. We spoke about a different person’s favorite verse or passage each week and studied its context and meaning and why it was important to that person. I have many favorite passages in scripture and today I’ll post about one of them…Philippians 4:4-8.
Phil. 4:4= “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
- Believers should be distinctive by their joy. A joy that does not waver due to one’s circumstances but is dependent on an individual’s relationship with Christ and their gratitude for his love.
Phil. 4:5= “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”
- We should have a gentle attitude towards everyone, even those who try to make things miserable for us.
- The presence of the Lord can be felt close to us if we show a humble, gentle forbearance towards others.
Phil. 4:6= “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
- Paul is addressing this to persecuted Christians but it just as easily applies today. We are reminded of the surety in Christ even in the midst of difficulties. We are to live without worry but not be careless. We are to trust our lives to God through prayer and thanksgiving.
- Fear and anxiety are a result of thinking in the present but eternal thinking gives us power over fear.
Phil. 4:7= “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
- As we wholly submit our lives to God, his peace will guard us.
- Like the word joy mentioned earlier, peace is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). God is peace (Phil. 4:9). He wants peace and wholeness for us even if that idea is hard to comprehend.
- Notice how peace follows prayer. We don’t have peace because he answers our prayers to our liking, but his peace changes our perspective and allows us to perceive him and our world properly.
Phil. 4:8= “Finally, brother and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things.”
- So often we look around at our world and wonder “Why?”…”What’s going wrong?” Paul reminds us that we can dwell on the negative or we can choose to seek out the good. It’s there if we are willing to look for it.
We seem to live in a world today where fear is a greater reality than joy. Christians have the privilege, with thanksgiving, to live out joy and peace and point others to their source… God!!!