The Bible says: “Rejoice in the Lord always. [I may appear repetitious, Paul says, but] I will say it once more; rejoice.” Philippians 4:4
How can a person not worry or be anxious when the storm is rising and headed their way; a loved one has been involved in a terrible accident and is hanging onto life; or perhaps you are thirty-two years old, married to the love of your life, with two wonderful children. Suddenly one day you are diagnosed with stage four cancer and the future is very dismal. How, tell me how are you to rejoice in such dismal circumstances and not become anxious?
We must read and listen closely; the statement is not recommending that we rejoice in the circumstance, the statement is stating rejoice in the Lord!
Reflecting on Matthew 26:36-46, we read that Jesus became overwhelmed with sorrow the night He invited three of His best friends to watch and pray in the Garden of Gethsemane, and alas, as the night rolled on, scripture indicates that perhaps even Jesus became anxious.
You decide: Jesus was totally aware of His circumstance but He also was completely confident that when He prayed to His Father, His Father in Heaven would listen and respond. After all, Jesus spoke and the wind and waves obeyed Him, the blind saw, the lame walked, He turned water into wine for goodness sake so why didn’t God answer Jesus plea to “take this cup from me?”
As you read on through these verses, you will notice that after pleading with His Father three times, Jesus walked into the face of evil, into cruel ridicule and persecution. Do you wonder, how could He face this storm with gentleness in His eyes, with a calm demeanor? Perhaps because He knew His Father was near and would equip Him to endure the crisis. He probably was not rejoicing in the circumstance, but He must have been rejoicing knowing, trusting and having full confidence the outcome was completely in the hand of Almighty God.
One thing is certain, Jesus took His eyes off Himself and His circumstance and He saw you and me. He took His crisis and thought of us, His faith in God submitted to the will of His Father which settled in and consumed Him.
Because of this the knowledge and peaceful joy He found in His relationship with His Heavenly Father, Jesus entered “that tranquil state of a soul assured”. He knew this present storm would bring glory to God and our redemption.
Continuing on in Philippians….”So let nothing worry you. Instead, in every circumstance, do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.”
We are assured through Jesus life that He truly does understand our circumstances; we are able to say,
“7) God's peace [shall be mine, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.”
My heart, my mind rests in knowing Christ Jesus is with me…for I know….
“8)….whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].”
I will fix my mind on YOU!
“9Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you.”
Jesus’ example shows us that we are to get out of the way, think of others by praying, and care enough to share His life with them. He did something we will never have to do, for a time, He was totally alone, darkness consumed Him, but He rose triumphant and we will never be alone.
So let not your heart be troubled, “Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.” Isaiah 41:10
“Only fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart; for consider how great are the things He has done for you.” 1 Samuel 12:24
What are your thoughts:
Do you trust in the Lord with all your heart?
Do you find strength, comfort in knowing He is leading in all circumstances?
Do you know Victory because of your relationship with Jesus Christ?
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Galatians 1:3
Watch-Together We Will Stand Video: http://bit.ly/IT1jJE
Participate-Together We Will Stand-Standing in Crisis Guide: http://bit.ly/IWivip