Friday, June 28, 2024

Processing and Need for Prayer

Philippians four is a beautiful chapter in the Bible.  We have discussed this chapter in the last couple posts.  Philippians chapter four and all of the book of Philippians speak of joy and contentment  based on our relationship with the Lord irregardless of outside circumstances. Believers have come to love this book because of the comfort it brings. 

Yet sometimes when life and its trials hit with what feels like extra vehemence, we have to dig deeper into God's Word, and we have to cling tighter to it's promises. Sometimes we have to just trust the Lord and rest in Him when there is not always an answer to all our "why?" questions.   Sometimes we need to also ask our fellow Christians to pray for us.

As I have told you before; my husband, Bob, moved to an assisted living facility in in early January.  He had to make another transition recently in June.  He is now living in a skilled nursing facility.  This has been particularly difficult especially since July 13 is our fifth wedding anniversary, and I keep seeing memories on Facebook of our upcoming wedding five years ago.  We were so happy and had such big dreams five years ago, since we both had lost our first spouses and had now found each other.  I don't fully understand God's plan in these new developments in our lives, but I do know who holds our future, and I do know who holds our hands.  I don't normally like to use my blog for  personal prayer requests, but I do ask today that you will pray for Bob and I and other family members.  Will you also pray for me, as I face cataract surgery in July, and my vision is becoming more compromised in the meantime?



Saturday, June 15, 2024

The Joy Chapter, Philippians 4


(Last week we talked about a verse from Philippians 4.  It is such a beautiful chapter in the Bible that I am going to take the liberty to publish another post about that wonderful chapter of the Bible.)

"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 4:6-7

We often think of Philippians chapter four as a chapter on joy.  In this chapter we also learn how we can have peace, a sense of security in Christ, and how we can "stand firm in the Lord" (Philippians 4:1b).  We are commanded in Philippians 4:4 to "Rejoice in the Lord always."  This verse is not only telling us we are able to have joy in Christ, but that we must rejoice in the Lord.  We are not to rejoice only on the days when everything is going smoothly, but we must also rejoice on the days which are difficult and full of trouble and challenges. True joy in the Lord does not depend on our circumstances but comes from the Lord.  Paul wrote the book of Philippians in prison.  He rejoiced in the Lord in spite of his trials and unpleasant circumstances.  He had joy because of His relationship with the Lord.  That must be our source of joy also.

Joy is first found in right praying.  Joy and peace are not found in counterproductive worry.  Worry accomplishes nothing except for depressing our spirit and in some cases causing physical ailments in our bodies.  When we begin to worry we need to immediately cast our worries and anxieties on the Lord in prayer.  We need to commit all our concerns to the Lord, and then leave them with the Lord.

It is so easy to pray to the Lord, and then walk away from prayer still worrying.  God commands us not to do that, but instead we are to leave all our worries in His hands.  Worry and trust do not go together.  When we bring our worries to the Lord we must also approach Him with a thankful heart.  We must not forget to thank Him for all His past and present blessings.  If we do that Philippians 4:7 says that "the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Joy and peace come from right praying, and they also come from right thinking.  In verse eight of chapter four of Philippians we are told to think of things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.  Joy and peace further comes from right practice.  Philippians 4:9 says, "Whatever you have learned or received---put it into practice.  And the God or peace will be with you."  Obedience to God's Word always produces joy and peace.

Joy and peace come from right praying, right thinking, right acting, and finally from contentment in all circumstances.  We need to be content whatever our circumstances, and we need to be content wherever God has placed us in this life.  Paul was in in prison when he wrote the book of Philippians.  In spite of this fact, Paul wrote in Philippians 4:11b, "I have learned to be content  whatever the circumstances."  Can we say the same?

Surrendering to God's will and resting in Him is the only way to true joy and and peace.  We might think that this is easier said than done.  The truth is we can do nothing in ourselves.  Paul says in Philippians 4:13, however, "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength."  The Lord gives us the strength to rest all our worries in Him.  He gives us the strength to face all of life's problems.  Finally, the Lord promises to be with us and meet our needs.  Philippians 4:19 says, "And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus."  He has promised to meet all and not just some of our needs.  He has promised to meet all our needs out of His glorious and limitless riches.  What joy!  What peace!

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Think About What is Lovely


I don't know about you, dear reader, but I find it so easy to slip into negative thoughts especially in the middle of an occasional sleepless night.   Philippians chapter four of the Bible tells us, however, to not be anxious about anything but in prayer with a thankful heart make our requests and concerns known to the Lord.  We are promised that if we do that, the Lord's overwhelming peace will be with us (verses six and seven).  It is so easy to get sidetracked by difficult circumstances instead of resting them with the Lord.  Yet these verses remind us that we need to bring our anxieties to the Lord and leave them there.  

The Lord also instructs us in Philippians chapter four verses eight and nine to think about things that are true, pure, commendable, and lovely.  If we do this we are promised His peace.  Recently I became bogged down by some unjust and unkind comments made to me by someone else, followed by some unkind actions a few days later.  My mind went over and over those words which had been carelessly spoken to me, as my mind can also go over and over an anxiety in my life and heart.  Yet the Lord tells us to leave that with the Lord.  God  tells us to instead think about what is true and pure and lovely, to think about His overflowing and unfailing love for us.

Bringing our anxieties to the Lord with a thankful heart. trusting Him to meet our every need, and corralling our thoughts to think thoughts which are lovely and beautiful is the secret to God's peace which we can find no place else.  Rest in Him, dear Reader.  He is worthy of our trust!

(If you missed my post last week of God being good and accomplishing good even in our trials you can click on this link:   )