Day 11

Practical Counsel

from the Philippians reading plan


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.

Post Comments (52)

52 thoughts on "Practical Counsel"

  1. Tiffy says:

    Reading this while eating breakfast before heading off to work again (which I unexpectedly worked some extra hours late last night), I’m tired but renewed. I see more that needs to be done today, tomorrow and the weekend to come, but His grace renews every morning. He is my source of rest and strength. Let us take life and its worries one day at a time, AND walk with our LORD one day at a time for He is the source of our life and our strength.

    1. Elizabeth Arizpe says:

      Amen! The to do’s are so endless. I am ready to accept Gods grace today and live in the present.

  2. Bessie H says:

    Before I read this today I was listening to a meditation. It was about how we are to pause during the day. Before we think, speak, act, do, we are to pause and then ‘choose to rejoice’. I am in awe of how God brings a message together from seemingly random sources. Clearly I’m meant to hear this today. Choose to rejoice, I say it again! Rejoice! Whatever the circumstances, rejoice. Don’t think about myself, how I look, how I am perceived by others. Rejoice.
    Today I will rejoice in God my Savior.

    1. Elisabeth Costa says:

      ❤️

  3. Shelby Lynn says:

    I’m trying to focus on rejoicing in Christ as time is dwindling down for the birth of our first baby June 8th. I dwell on limited money for maternity leave which fills me with fear of bills, credit cards not being paid.

    Lord I know you will provide, allow your wisdom and peace to fill me and rid my doubt.

  4. Abi says:

    I needed to read this today! Thank you!

  5. Tina says:

    Oh my goodness where are my manners..

    Good morning dear ones..!!!

    Happy Thursday with love❤

  6. Tina says:

    It is hard to rejoice when you are in the storm, when life throws you lemons…
    It’s hard to rejoice, when someones hand lands on your already aching body.
    It’s hard to rejoice when you don’t know where your next meal will come from.
    It’s hard to rejoice when you are in the ‘wars’
    God, It’s hard to rejoice when you lose your child.
    It’s hard to rejoice when you hear of the sudden death of your father, or your mother, or your best friend taking her own life..
    Oh, dear God, it’s hard, so hard to rejoice…

    But you, God …

    You God…

    ..are near when all else seems not to be, when things and people we look to cannot help, you are near even when we cannot see or feel it, you are in every detail, every detail of our lives, happy, sad, confused, lonely, hopelessness, you are close. Psalm 139 says…where could I go to escape from you?.. if I lay down in the world of the dead, you would be there..you would be there to lead me, you would be there to help me..
    I, for one am truly grateful for that, that no matter where, what, who or why, YOU Lord God are there.. whatever the circumstances.., I have learnt through each season to lean even harder than the last, on you Lord God, it’s not easy, oh Lord no, it’s not easy, but you God, you God have been faithful, You Lord have been true to your promises, never to leave or forsake..
    For sure something to rejoice and rest in knowing we have a God who absolutely cares.. Amen.

    1. Tricia Cavanaugh says:

      Amen. Thank you for the reminder Tina. Doing my own struggling right now. I’m grateful that He is with me through it all. He’s all I need. Amen

  7. Churchmouse says:

    Well timed verses to read this morning as our daughter and son in law take our five year old granddaughter to Children’s Hospital for another consultation on her treatment plan. Surgery is scheduled for March 27 to again treat the venous malformation of her lip, this time necessitating an overnight stay. Another hurdle to overcome. Another test to trust the Lord. And so I cling to these verses. Philippians 4:4 tells me to rejoice. Rejoice in the Lord always. Even in this. (her wonderful doctors, her sweet spirit, her attentive parents)
    Philippians 4:5,6 tells me to relax. The Lord is near. Pray. Be thankful (I bring power to the situation when I’m praying.) Philippians 4:7 tells me to rest. The peace of God guards my heart and mind. (Deep breath. God got this. He’s got her.)
    Rejoice. Relax. Rest. All three made possible because of Jesus. Only Jesus. Just give me Jesus.

    1. Rebecca Ann says:

      Churchmouse, I’ll be praying for your granddaughter, your family, and you. ❤️

    2. Amy W says:

      Praying for your granddaughter, you and your family. Jesus is with you and holding all of you.

    3. Rosemarie Clair says:

      Amen Churchmouse♥️

    4. Mari V says:

      Just give me Jesus! I love this, Churchmouse! I would say this often and it was a great comfort. I am praying for your family. For your beautiful little granddaughter. I work with little people her age and I love it! As I laugh and play with these little ones I will be reminded to pray for your little Julia.

    5. Erin Cherry says:

      Amen. And amen.

    6. Nancy Singleton says:

      Praying surgery is successful & recovery is uncomplicated & speedy for your precious granddaughter.

    7. Tricia Cavanaugh says:

      Only Jesus

    8. Melissa Dodge says:

      Ohh praying for your family. I love how Gods timing works.

    9. Camille English Davis says:

      Prayers for your precious granddaughter and all your family.

  8. Kristen says:

    When I was in college, I pledged to be in a sorority. We had to memorize Philippians 4:8. My friend taught me a pneumonic device to help remember. The hot, juicy, pizza, looks good. So the T was for true, the H was for honest, and so on. (This was from a different Bible translation.) Anyway, I memorized the verse, but I really didn’t take the words in. Years later, after becoming a Christian that reads the Bible and that goes to church that preaches His Word, that scripture started to be meaningful. Then I heard one of the pastors preach a message on this verse. He said this verse should be the filter through which we process our thoughts. My husband had an affair, and I was consumed with thinking about it. Pastor said to think through the verse. Is it true? I thought to myself, yes, the affair was true. But, did it fit the other verses? Was it honorable, pure, lovely, or of good report? No! So in his message, he said, “Don’t think about it?” Wow! What freedom is there in applying Philippians as a litmus teat for our thoughts? Something may be true, but if it doesn’t pass the other parts of the verse, let it go, and don’t dwell on it!
    Speaking of thoughts not to dwell on, I just saw a quote that said something like anger is a punishment we give ourselves for someone else’s actions. We keep that anger alive by replaying the situations or words in our heads. This quote isn’t scripture, but this made me think about how we must forgive! God always knows best! We can find the answers by reading, learning, dwelling on, and applying His Word. I’ve heard it said that the Bible is His love letter to us. Thankful that this ministry exists to remind us to keep opening our Bibles as they say in their podcast! On a side note, I really enjoy the podcast and look forward to listening.

    1. Rebecca Ann says:

      Thank you for sharing this! There were so many helpful nuggets in just this one post. ❤️

    2. Mary Pitner says:

      Kristen, your words touched my heart this morning. I’m a world class worrier, but I’m going to change that by processing my worries through Philippians 4:8, just as you suggested.❤️

    3. Kerry Rowley says:

      Thank you for this. I need to process my thoughts in this way. Awesome.

    4. Gennie Yee says:

      Those were much needed reminders from the Lord’s Word to trust in Him, rejoice, and focus of the things that matter and not the things of this world that cause us to worry

    5. Nancy Singleton says:

      Well said Kristen.

    6. Erin Kennedy says:

      Love this

    7. Jen Brewer says:

      Love your heart Kristen! Thank you for your encouragement. ❤️Really been convicted to work on taking my thoughts captive to Jesus and running them through this filter as part of that process since I can be so quick to dwell on something true as you say but then add so much negativity, criticism, etc that is ultimately not healthy or fruitful. Will also have to check out the podcast!

    8. Natasha R says:

      Hi Kristen, thank you for gifting me with an “Aha!” moment this morning!

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