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. Tina says:

    Praying for your granddaughter, Churchmouse… lifting the whole family up in prayer, to know God’s peace that surpasses all understanding, and to trust that He has this trial in His hand.
    Sending love wrapped in prayers across the pond..❤

  2. April says:

    I’ve been making a lot of big life decisions lately, especially related to work, but I’ve been amazed at how little stress I’ve felt over a fairly stressful situation. Today’s passage reminded me that God actually guards my heart and mind and that His peace is more powerful than my stress. I am humbled by this passage and it is such a reminder to thank God for His goodness in every season.

  3. Melissa Mcronney says:

    This was a well needed read. GOD is always on time. The Word of God is all I need

  4. Arlene R says:

    I have always struggled with anxiety. I used to start reading Philippians 4 at verse 6 and it just made me angry. I was already anxious and now I was told “not to be anxious” . I would sarcastically think to my self “duh, why didn’t I think of that”. Then one day I read the preceding verses and the Holy Spirit corrected my thinking, my perception completely changed. REJOICE, be gentle, pray, be thankful. I was to practice being these things, it wouldn’t stop the anxious thoughts from coming but if I practiced these things I would be prepared when they came, I would already be experiencing the Peace of God, that transcends all understanding, He would guard my mind and my heart in Christ Jesus. This passage has become my life mantra.
    I also want to say that even though I have never commented before, I read through all the comments daily and I have been blessed by all of you.

    1. Jen Brewer says:

      Thanks for sharing, Arlene. ❤️I have struggled with anxiety also and have memorized vs 4-8. Feel like the Lord has been reminding me to meditate on these truths and put them into practice since rejoicing, giving thinks, and taking my thoughts captive to Christ (and trying to keep them in line with vs 8) really does change where I am when the anxiety comes knocking. Thankful we serve the God of peace who guards our hearts and minds with His peace and is our peace Himself (Eph 2:14)!

  5. Mari V says:

    God is so good at reminding us and reassuring us that He’s got this! That He has it ALL under control. I needed to read this, this morning. Especially verse 6 about being anxious. I took a deep breath. I am thankful for the reminder. Lots going through my mind and my heart. I’m thankful this morning for His Word and through this devotion as I know it was God’s way of letting me know He “hears” me.

  6. Maura Pere says:

    Praying for you Shelby Lynn. God’s provision, peace and joy for this sweet baby. He does provide, watch for Him. The lillies of the field, the birds of the air. He loves you so much more than these. Know He is with you. Hugs to you and you little bundle of joy coming soon. Praying for your granddaughter too Churchmouse. Wisdom for the doctors, healing for her and peace for you all. He is so good.

  7. Doris says:

    Practical counsel means it can be practiced. It’s amazing to me how that God have given us the answer to every situation, every circumstance, every problem, etc., that we will ever encounter in this Life and yet we , in a way opt out of His answer. My devotional reading this morning highlighted the truth that we are victors in Jesus. Who has ever won the victory and didn’t rejoice? Didn’t say we will be, we are victors. Greater is He that is within us than he that is in the world.Jesus Himself admonishes us to be of good cheer, He has overcome the world. Job worshipped after life’s circumstances gave him a blow. Practice! Paul practiced this rejoicing in his life , God telling him that HIS GRACE was sufficient. I don’t want to repeat Paul’s testimony, I want my own . To say in the beginning and at the end of every circumstance life brings that I rejoiced. Practice makes perfect,

  8. Jessica Nicolas says:

    I great song to pair with today’s reading is Desert Song by Hillsong Chapel. It came on as I was reading the devotional and I thought how perfect! God bless! ♡

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