Open Your Bible
Philippians 4:2-9, Matthew 6:25-34, John 15:7-11, Romans 8:5-6
BY Guest Writer
Company was coming to town, the house was in disarray, I had mounds of laundry and cooking before me, and I was apologizing to my 10-year-old daughter for being impatient. She gave me a hug and said, “Mom, look at the things you have finished, not the things you haven’t.” In essence, the Lord was graciously reminding me, through my daughter, to “rejoice in the Lord always”—in everything—even while in the midst of a list of to-dos (Philippians 4:4).
As daughters of the King, rather than living in worry and fear, we can rejoice in “the riches of his grace that he richly poured out on us with all wisdom and understanding” (Ephesians 1:8–9). I don’t know about you, but so often, I live in and wrestle with worry. When I hear that command to rejoice, I fall into discouragement because I know my life’s not marked by rejoicing. Paul was in prison when he wrote “Rejoice!” So why can’t I rejoice where I am today? I spin my wheels trying to figure out how to cultivate a life of joy and peace. Today’s reading reminds me that the answers to how we live this life of faith are found in God’s Word.
God knows how to bring us peace because He is the God of peace (Philippians 4:9). He knows what will bring us true joy. He is always near, and so there’s no reason to worry; His peace will guard our hearts and minds (vv.5–9).
We cannot add one moment to our days by worrying, and so we are to set our minds on the Spirit, who offers us “life and peace” (Matthew 6:27; Romans 8:6). Whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable—these are the things we should dwell on (Philippians 4:8). All of these things and more we are able to receive through His Spirit and His Word; He uses both to draw us to Himself.
Will we continue to worry, to set our minds on things of the flesh? Yes, we may always struggle with that. But we are saved by grace, works in progress; the One who’s begun a good work in us will carry it on to completion (Philippians 1:6). And that is truly a great cause for rejoicing, because “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12). Wherever we find ourselves today—even in dark seasons and in overwhelming situations—we can rest in Him and rejoice because the gospel is true.
Kimberly Girard is a well-loved child of God, wife of an extraordinary man, mother of three amazing kids, and writer living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. You can find her at Loud Singing and on Twitter.