WHO YOU ARE IS THE RESULT OF YOUR CHOICES
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers 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. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:4—9)
Paul repeated the word rejoice twice. In life there are many things that steals joy. Many life situations steals peace. Life circumstances renders us ungrateful and leaves us trouble in the heart. It is challenging to try to be rejoicing and remain peaceful and calm when our hearts and mind are left unguarded. Anything can happen in life can bring anxiety. But what can one do to calm their nerves in anxious time? What can one do when in every situation seems difficult to cope with?
Paul reminded us of some remedies that can help believers calm down in life and gain control over their circumstances. The first step to calm one’s heart is to REJOICE IN THE LORD. One must shift the focus from the pull of their circumstances to the source of their strength, and that is rejoicing in the Lord. Rejoicing in the Lord is a choice over matter. I choose God over my situation. I choose God’s way over my way in dealing with my circumstances. I allow God to rule over my mind, my heart and my emotions.
I must remind myself that the LORD IS NEAR. The second step is to make the choice to stop panicking and being anxious all the time. Feeling anxious is a powerful emotion. But also choosing peace is even a powerful choice to counter anxiety. Paul is saying, the same choice that we make to be anxious, we must turn it into prayers, petitioning, with thanksgiving and present our request to God. I must learn to let God hear my request and let him work out every situation in my life so I may know his goodness.
When I learn to bring my concerns before God, I am learning to have him be a guard over my heart and mind. My peace of mind in the midst of any challenges whether big or small, largely depends on where I set my mind. I learn to release all my cares and concerns to God in exchange for his peace that surpasses all my understanding.
Paul reminded me today that the answer to all my anxieties and challenges is to set my mind on God. Moreover, I need to discipline my mind to focus on God who is able to work his peace in me. I am also reminded to make some PRACTICAL CHOICES. See, what I allowed to come into my heart is my responsibility. God want us to bring our problems to him. My responsibility is to make practical choices on how I think.
Paul said, to fix my mind on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. If anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. Our peace of mind, and heart depends on us on where we place our thoughts. When we place it on junk, we become junk. When we place on God, we start to think his thoughts and ways in all and every situation we face in life. Our own joy, peace of mind, happiness, satisfaction all depends on how you think and how serious we are in taking responsibility to choose rightly.
I know there are many times I blame others for the chaos in my emotional life. However, the problem of my unhappiness and joyless life is the result of how I think. Paul reminded me today not to blame others for my anxiety, unhappiness, and joyless life. I must take my responsibility seriously for my own happiness, for my own peace of mind and not blame the circumstances for my joyless life. I will remind myself daily of this responsibility for my emotional health.
Jesus, I am so grateful for the reminder from your word through Paul today. Help me to choose to bring before you every situation that seeks to steal my joy and peace of mind. I thank you that you are the source of joy, peace, and strength in my life when situations challenges my choices. Help me to look to you always and place all my challenges and situations in your hand daily. I need you all the time to walk with me and speak into my life. Amen!