Hi. Welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host of the daily challenges. Today is Tuesday, the day we study the Bible together. This week, as part of our series on the identity of Jesus, we’re going to study how Christians can be at peace in chaos.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-6)
This passage is all about stability in life’s circumstances.
He commands him to rejoice twice – maybe acknowledging it’s not easy!
But he’s not telling people to just feel something – that’s not what joy, or rejoicing is. It’s an action, not a feeling.
It’s expressing joy about God’s salvation and redemption of sinners, rejoining in god’s promises, the privilege of serving God,
Reasonableness or Gentleness
No one English word to describe what Paul said in Greek, but it means something about reasonable, generosity, grace when others family, mercy and more.
People who are by default gracious and reasonable will be harder to shake than those motivated by self-love, self-esteem or self-fulfillment. When you’re all about giving, not getting, you can be content no matter what happens.
The Lord is near, be anxious for nothing. Great news if you’ve ever felt alone, or like God is distant and uncaring. He’s near, at hand, and the result is we don’t need to be anxious.
Again – this is about action, not necessarily feeling. If you are anxious, your head and body will feel it – you can even have an anxiety attack. This is about the attitude first. He’s not just telling people to change physical symptoms, but to change the object of their trust. He wants them to trust in God, and not in themselves and their own abilities or inabilities.
This is why he says to channel our anxiety into trust. When we need something, or something’s wrong, ask God, instead of thinking we need to be self-sufficient. He says this leads to peace. I love the poetry of that line – the peace that surpasses all understanding. Imagine those firefighters in the midst of chaos in Fort McMurray, emergency responders, surgeons, etc. They go into situations that scare most of us, and can sometimes show a peace and comfort that we can’t even imagine. Christians are meant to be the same – the picture of peace in the chaos of life, because the channel their concerns to the God who can actually do something about it! It’s the ultimate handoff – and God invites us to do it.
Question: What makes this hard in practice? What can be done? What kinds of things prevent you from bringing your anxieties and concerns to God?