“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.” (Phil. 4:4-7)
Don’t worry there will not be a Bobby McFerrin quote in this blog post. So you can be happy now. Anxiety levels can go back down to Low.
Paul was emphatic about this week’s passage that he repeated it. He was ensuring his readers go the point. As followers of Jesus Christ we are to rejoice, celebrate in Jesus. We have no reason to fear or be anxious at any time. Jesus is close at hand. He is taking care of everything.
As we walk along this journey of faith there are times we can’t see around the bend. Our trust is put to the test as we forge forward without having the answers to all of our questions. Instead of being worrisome we can rejoice because God’s got this.
Anxiety is a tricky thing. It creeps in and begins to unpack its bags before we realize it’s even there. Then we feel helpless, losing confidence in ourselves in the future.
Anxiety is a tool used by the enemy to distract us from growing in our faiths. While it appears to be all encompassing, anxiety disappears the moment God’s peace arrives on the scene. This is the reason Paul reminds his readers, and us today, to rejoice.
See, God’s peace is beyond our human minds to fully comprehend. It relieves all anxiety we may be experiencing and brings a calm that takes care of all things. God’s peace is the defense against the devil’s attacks. It protects our hearts and minds so we continue to grow in faith.
We cannot become more like Jesus if we are consumed with anxiety. Rather than being open and learning from the Holy Spirit we become closed off and scared for what “may” come. This is why Paul reminds us to rejoice. By celebrating we make room for God’s peace to boot out anxiety and dwell within us.
So what do we do to rejoice in the Lord?
First, recognize when anxiety tries to creep in. Take a breath and celebrate what God is doing right now. Don’t give anxiety a chance.
Next, focus on how the Holy Spirit is leading you today. Rejoice for the moments the Kingdom of God is expanding. Celebrate for those who are now followers of Jesus Christ.
Remain hopeful in the Lord. Our confidence does not come from our abilities. It is only by God that we have peace, not anxiety. And it is for this reason we rejoice in the Lord.
This Week’s Challenge
What gives you anxiety? Causes you to worry?
Make a plan for what you will do the next time it tries to move in.
How will you rejoice in the Lord today?