Philippians 4:4-7 tells us:
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness[a] be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Let's walk through this for a moment.
The first thing Paul tells us to do is REJOICE. Why do you think that is? Not only rejoice, but rejoice in the Lord, and to do so always.
As much as we'd like to think we're great multitaskers, the truth is that we can really only focus on one thing at a time. If we're busy focusing on rejoicing in the Lord, we don't have the mental capacity to pay attention to our fears, worries, phobias, and problems.
Paul goes on to say that we are to make our requests known, through prayer and with thanksgiving.
Not only are we supposed to rejoice, always, in the Lord, but when we request things of God as we're instructed, we're supposed to also do this with thanksgiving.
So first we make sure that we're rejoicing in the Lord. What does that mean? We rejoice simply in Who God is. He is the Almighty who loves us unconditionally. Who sees every terrible thing we've done, and instead of shunning us for eternity, sent His son to take our place because despite those awful things, He still wanted to keep us forever! Sometimes that's hard to comprehend - especially when we think about the people around us who have done terrible things. Sometimes we'd much rather shun them - but not God.
We can rejoice that God is:
- All powerful
Plus a host of other wonderful and amazing things!
As we rejoice in all that God is, we are also supposed to come to Him with our requests. This doesn't mean only the prayer requests of those around us; God truly wants you to speak about what's on your own heart. Sure, He already knows - but He wants you to ask Him. It's the simple act of asking Him that creates the relationship He wants with us. There's no relationship there if we simply expect Him to just do everything He knows we want, without ever expressing ourselves to Him. Relationships involve communication.
God not only invites us to request things of Him, but He is instructing us to do so!
We are to make these requests through prayer, and supplication with thanksgiving.
What in the world does that mean?
He doesn't want us to simply lay out a Christmas list of desires. He wants us to be grateful for the things that we have. What's the point in giving us more if we don't appreciate what He's already given us?
Sometimes this can be difficult - but look at what Paul says will happen if we do this: And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
WOW! This is the type of peace that we can't even wrap our minds around. Have you ever experienced that? Where you just felt so peaceful and you simply couldn't explain it?
Friend, do you want that kind of peace to wash over your heart and flood your mind? The peace that drowns out all of your worries, makes all of your fears obsolete, and cures every phobia?
The instructions are simple: rejoice in the Lord always, make your requests known to Him through prayer and with thanksgiving. Perhaps not the easiest of instructions, but they are simple.
Here is my challenge to you today: spend a few moments writing down the attributes of God that you can rejoice over. Write down as many as you can think of - feel free to Google some if you need reminders. Put this list up where you can see it and refer to it everyday.
Then write out your requests for God - next to each request, include a reason to be thankful. Ask Him for more of His peace to reign in your heart and mind. He's promised it to you; it's okay to thank Him in advance for it as well as part of your thanksgiving.
I'd love to hear from you. What are some of your favorite attributes of God?
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