Today’s reading is Philippians 4.
I’ve often been told I seem like a very relaxed person – probably a little too relaxed sometimes, from what some people say. Reading Philippians 4 gives me a good idea of how I can work sharing Scripture into conversation when people bring this up in the future: Philippians 4:6-7 says “The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” It is the otherworldly peace that comes with learning to trust God in all things that lets us stand firm & calm when the world around us is shaken, found in daily immersion in God’s word and knowing to trust in Him in the things beyond our control.
If you struggle with worry and anxiety about things beyond your control – as I often do, but find comfort and help in through these writings – ask yourself if what you give sway in your mind, as Paul warns in Romans 12:2: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Read through Philippians 4:8 when you need to reflect on your thoughts and ask yourself if what your worries are about are:
•true: is it based on the truth of the word of the Living God? (John 17:17)
•honorable: is it worthy of adoration and relevance in the presence of God?
•just: is it in accordance with the righteousness of God?
• lovely: is your train of thought pleasing to God?
•reputable: do your thoughts & actions reflect the good transformation God has brought in your life?
Our minds are prone to wander, as fallen humans often do, but Paul commands us in 1 Corinthians 10:5: “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” We have been blessed with a peace and comfort that comes with knowing our God is in control of all things, even those we could never hope to control. I pray for my own heart & mind that I could reflect on whether my thoughts & focus is on things that are false, dishonorable, unjust; and instead, give every thought captive to Christ, and instead give my worries to Him & focus on the good of His grace. And if this is a struggle to you, I pray for your journey in asking yourself these questions as well, as well as helping those around you focus your thoughts on the glory of the Lord.