Today you will pray through Philippians 4:4–7. Again, a command not to be anxious. Yet as with Jesus, Paul offers us more than a cold, impersonal imperative. Again, we are pointed to a Person.
Paul doesn’t tell us to rejoice in our circumstances or good fortune. Instead, he tells us to rejoice in the Lord. Nor does Paul say, “You do not have anything to be anxious about.” Circumstantially, anxiety may be the logical response. There seems to be an acknowledgement of this dynamic when Paul refers to the peace of God “which surpasses all understanding.”
It’s as though Paul is conceding that looking at your situation will cause you anxiety. This is where your understanding will lead you. It’s well-founded. Logical.
But what our logical assessment of any situation fails to take into account is that God is for us. It fails to account for prayer, by which we unload our troubles onto the Lord, making requests and acknowledging with thankful hearts his active presence and provision in our lives.
When we do this, Paul says, we will find our hearts and minds protected by God’s peace, which goes beyond what we can logically assess or understand. Again, it’s not a glib response or a careless command to rejoice. It’s about a Person. We’re not told to fix ourselves, but to cling to God. The difference cannot be overstated.
Take the time now to pray through Philippians 4:4–7. As you pray these words, also do the thing the words command: let your requests be made known to God. And as you pray this ancient prayer, watch for the peace of God.