” 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 everything, 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 NIV
Thoughts for Today
The apostle Paul suffered criticism, severe beatings and multiple imprisonments during his ministry. Indeed, he wrote the letter to the Philippians from prison. This letter is filled with words of joy—in the midst of even the challenging circumstances of prison. No complaining from Paul—just praises to God.
Paul’s focus was always on the greatness and goodness of God—never on his own circumstances. And he experienced the blessings of praise—blessings that are available to us when we choose to praise and worship and trust God, no matter what our circumstances. One of those blessings is God’s peace.
If we will rejoice instead of complain … trust God instead of worry … and always give thanks … we will experience the total peace of God.
What challenges or problems are you facing today?
Be encouraged to meditate on today’s scripture. If you have time, read the entire fourth chapter of Philippians. And then consider making a choice. A choice to rejoice and not complain. A choice to trust God … his plan, his timing, his love … and not worry or feel anxious. A choice to give thanks for your blessings rather than dwelling on your problems. Only then can you experience his peace that truly does pass all understanding.
Lord, help me to rejoice and not complain. Help me to trust you more and to refrain from worrying. When I begin to feel sorry for myself or feel discouraged because of the challenges I am facing, remind me of my many blessings and help me to refocus on them. Thank you for all you have done for me … and for all that you are. Thank you for your promise of peace. In Jesus’ name …
These thoughts were drawn from…
A Passionate Pursuit of God: Drawing Nearer to Him by Dr. Mike Chapman. This study shows you how to move into God's inner circle, how to listen for the voice of God, how to enjoy the freedom of worship, and how to embrace the mission of worship. This Facilitator's Guide includes reproducible group member study sheets and an audio CD designed to help facilitators prepare for each session.
Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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