Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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.
I can’t imagine living through trauma or grief without faith. The peace God offers us, through faith in Christ Jesus, brings comfort to our souls in ways our minds can’t comprehend. Even in the midst of suffering and pain, we can have peace. And that’s what we all need now, isn’t it? We are living through a global moment of anxiety. For some, anxiety remains an unrealized fear of the uncertain future. For others, what they fear has become reality in the form of illness or job loss or unending isolation from family. Our world is drowning in anxiety.
But we don’t have to live under that cloud. The troubles of our world and the uncertainty of our future may remain, but we don’t need to dwell in places of fear and worry. Instead, we can rejoice in the knowledge that the Lord is near and that He gives us peace to wash away the worry. God gives us peace to guard our hearts and minds against the relentless stream of bad news, dire predictions and anxious messages we can’t seem to escape. God’s offer of peace through Jesus is like a vaccine against the world’s despair. We may have to live through troubles, but we don’t have to be ruled by fear.
How do you let go of anxiety? How do you take hold of the peace God offers? By doing what the Spirit tells us in this passage: rejoice in God’s goodness, treat others with gentleness, pray in every situation, and give thanks always. That is the prescription for peace, and we all need it now.Gracious Lord, You are the Giver of Peace and the reason I can rejoice today. Help me to overcome anxious thoughts and fears. Fill me with hope and peace. Help me to share Your peace with others, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Pastor Mike Mirakian