4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS... good way to start this off. I think most of us would like to think we can rejoice always... but the truth is, most of us don't spend anywhere enough time rejoicing. I know I sure don't. It's so easy to get caught up in things... so easy to, not have the time... so easy to focus on negative things. But, we are called to rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS... not just sometimes... ALWAYS.
sure, that is hard at times. But, if you think about it long enough... you might be able to agree that most things in life seem a whole lot easier to deal with when we put our focus on Him.
In verse 5 the KJV uses the word "moderation". The NIV uses the word "gentleness".
People should see that in us. All people should. It says there to let it be known to ALL men. All. Not just friends and families... not just nice people you meet at church or whatever... ALL people.
Verse 6 was the main idea I wanted to start with... The NIV says not to be anxious about anything. Well, I struggle with anxiety, so that's why this one caught my attention...
There's lots of things a person can be anxious about in life. Life can be tough... sometimes it is more tough for some than others. I have more anxiety towards things than the average person. But, that's no excuse to not pay attention to this verse. The verse says that instead of being anxious, we need to face each thing... EVERYthing with prayer and petition/supplication, and thanksgiving to God.
Seriously now... think of something that might cause you to have a little bit of anxiety. How often when you face such times in life do you take the time to pray to God, seeking His will and support, and thanking him? I think quite often we put all of our focus on ourselves and our situations. We're too busy saying "why me" to spend that quality time with God, asking Him what we should do, and at the same time thanking Him for all He has already taken us through.
In EVERYTHING...Any trial that we might want to bring before the Lord, we need to stay calm and really seek Him.
Verse 7 follows up with a promise, that if we can do that the peace of God will keep our hearts and minds. That's quite an awesome promise if you ask me.
Verse 8 is one of my favorite verses and I'm glad it just happened to be here after that stuff about anxiety. Think about good things? Seems like a no brainer right? Well, there's a lot of things that we all think about... spend time doing, watching, listening to, or whatever... that would not fit into those categories. I'm not going to pick on anyone or anything any of us do... but I need an example here. If one was to watch horror movies day in and day out, you might guess they'd have nightmares on occasion. They might even have real fears that develop...
Another example, someone that listens to music with bad language, or watches movies that are FULL of nastiness, you can bet those thoughts will pop into their head at another time. Some people become desensitized to such things, but many do not. You've probably heard saying like "garbage in, garbage out". This saying is quite true. God wants us to live peacefully. He wants us to be at peace with Him, ourselves, and our neighbors.
Sure, this verse doesn't say "hey, don't think of any bad things ever". But seriously, it says to think on such things... things that are pure, and true, etc... Why would the bible mention to us to think about such things, if it didn't imply that we should think about such things ALL the time? Don't we already know that thinking about good things would be good? I mean, that's only common sense right? Well, we spend far too much time thinking about things that wouldn't fit into that passage. And I think God wants us to spend quite a bit more time focusing on those good and pure things in life.
It's another thing that I can promise, if you can live by that verse you will live a happier life. Things will be less stressful... you'll be at peace with yourself and with others.
Think about it
Dear Lord, I thank you so much for all that you have done. I am sorry Lord that things in life cause me to be anxious. I'm trying really hard to trust you through all this confusion. I can ask you to help me not to be anxious Lord, but what I really need is to focus on my part of the equation. I need to spend more time seeking you while facing such trials. I pray that you will use these difficult times to draw me closer to you. I also pray that I would be able to think upon the things that would be pleasing to you, and that I would stay away from the things that are not pleasing to you. Help me stay focused on such things Lord. I pray that people will take your written word to heart. I pray that people will read it and meditate on it and really spend some time getting to know you. Thank you for all that you have done...
A new subject or passage each week for all to discuss.
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