Daily Thought for: 15th October
BE CAREFUL FOR NOTHING
Philippians 4. 6-7
Easy to say, very hard to do! When we are in a state of relative calm, most of us agree wholeheartedly that we should take our burdens to the Lord, but we often feel that we fail bitterly when the pressure is on and we are at our wits’ end.
Paul is writing a series of exhortations to the Christians in Philippi in his closing comments of the letter. In verse 4 he has encouraged them to ‘Rejoice in the Lord alway’. This is something we all need to be reminded about from time to time. When things get on top of us we often forget to see the blessings that we have and to rejoice in what God has done. I am sure we all know saints who can see the goodness of God in everything. We should all cultivate this way of thinking.
Next, Paul encourages them to be gentle and mild in their behaviour. Mr Vine quotes Matthew Arnold‘s rendering, ‘sweet reasonableness’. To emphasise how important it is to live in this way, Paul states that the ‘Lord is at hand’. It could be that this means that the Lord is near or that the Lord’s coming is near (as it is used in other passages); both are true and will affect how we live.
Following on from this, Paul warns about being anxious and not trusting the Lord. It is so easy to forget that the one who upholds the universe, Col. 1. 17, is the same One who cares for us, 1 Pet. 5. 7. There should not really be any issues that we are not prepared to bring before the Lord and to leave in His hands. The antidote to our worry is to pray. We should pray remembering the greatness of our God which will fill our hearts with worship. We should pray asking the Lord for help and direction with our problems. We should pray with a grateful heart of appreciation for who God is and what He has done.
We should be specific about our problems when we talk to the Lord as He is interested in every issue that confronts us. These prayers may only last one second, like Nehemiah, Neh. 2. 4-5, or they may be more detailed accounts of the issues that we face in life. Is this the way we pray? What will be the results? We will know the peace of God despite not knowing the answers. This will protect our hearts and minds.