Joy, Gentleness, and Peace

Monday, May 01, 2017

"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)

The book of Philippians is such an amazing book filled with inspiration and insight. This week, a group of my peers spent time in Philippians 4, and I was really encouraged by the verses we read. I specifically loved verses 4-7 of that chapter. If you've been a follower of Christ for a while, you have probably heard those verses a thousand times over; however, I would encourage you to read them (and the rest of the Bible for that matter) with fresh, new eyes that long for the richness that Christ can bring.

The verses start out by telling us to constantly rejoice in the Lord, which let me to ask this question: when was the last time you found joy in Jesus? Do you get excited about Christ and the Gospel, or do you treat Jesus like a box on a checklist? If you were to really excite yourself over the Lord and find your joy and fulfillment in Him, think of how different that life would be. 

Happiness would fill your days and you would find sweet fellowship with the One who excites Himself over you. 

Just like your earthly relationships, your relationship with Christ will go nowhere if you aren't looking forward to spending time with Him.

Paul then challenges us to allow our gentleness to shine through. Contrary to popular belief, gentleness does not mean that you are a doormat or a pushover. When Paul encourages us to show gentleness, he implores us to treat others with the same grace and kindness that Christ demonstrated to us.

Gentleness is a sense of meekness and humility. I heard a phrase about humility once that really stuck with me. It said, "Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less." Show gentleness, not by putting yourself down, but by putting the needs of others before your own.

The next sentence Paul writes is so easily overlooked because of its brevity, but at the same time, it's so calming and serene.

Simply put Paul says, "The Lord is near." Read that again and let the weight and peace of that sentence still you. The Lord is near. He's to far off and uninvolved in your life, but instead, He's close and intimate. Because of this, we have no reason to be anxious. In the presence of God's power and love, every fear worry is completely taken away.

If we truly surrender ourselves to the weight of who God is, anxiety has no room to make its ugly  head in our hearts. And since we know that God is near and that worry is dispelled in Him, we can present all of our requests before the Lord in every situation.

No prayer is too small or large for Him to handle. Ask Him for what you don't have, but don't forget to thank Him for what you do have. Living life in this closeness and dependance on God grants us more peace than we could ever understand.

Peace from God will guard our hearts and our minds from the depression and anxiety. Satan tries to throw at us because in Him, we have everything we could ever need.

Wonderful Father, thank You for Your Word. Every time we read a familiar passage, help us to gain new insights and understanding from the verses. Fill us with excitement for You and for Your Gospel. Let us never grow tired of being with You and never let us never forget how near You are to us. Thank You that You excite Yourself over us and that we can come to You with everything. Thank You for granting us peace in this crazy, chaotic world. Teach us to be gentle in every circumstance so that others will see how different we are and praise You as a result. Thank You for Your love. amen.

How often are you excited about Jesus?
When people look at you, do they notice your gentleness, meekness, and grace?
Spend some time today bringing your requests and heartaches before the Lord.

Written by: Mikayla Moreen

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