Rejoice; Be Thankful; Make Petitions

Daily God Walk for Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!… 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

 This week we are talking about tools for change and these verses in Philippians are vital to spiritual transformation. In these verses Paul gives four points to consider: Rejoice; do not be anxious; prayerfully present petitions to God; do this with thankfulness in your heart. Let’s briefly look at each of these.

Rejoice. Many times throughout his writings Paul admonishes the readers to rejoice. It’s as if this kind of joy doesn’t come naturally and we must pay attention to how we are feeling and how we are responding. This word doesn’t mean to act hilariously. It simply means to have a cheerful greeting.

Do not be anxious about anything. Immediately following his admonition to rejoice he tells us to not be anxious. Do you think these two are connected? It looks to me like he is saying that there are going to plenty of opportunities to become anxious about life but face those situations intentionally with cheerfulness.

Prayerfully present petitions to God. A key to rejoicing and not being anxious is to trust God for the outcome. It is not as hard to rejoice in a given situation when you know that God, who has our best interest at heart, is working all of those circumstances for our ultimate good.

Do this with thankfulness. We can’t do those things with thankfulness if we are not trusting God, but when we are truly trusting him being thankful for otherwise stressful circumstances becomes much easier.

What happens when we follow these instructions? “The peace of God… will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” When we can believe this word we will be able to rejoice, stop worrying, trust God and have peace.

These are tools for successful spiritual transformation.

 Prayer: Grant me the grace to trust you and to rejoice. Amen.

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Paul ”Hope Preacher” Smith

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