I love the passage in Philippians 4:4-8. It’s the one we look to for relieving anxiety (4:6), but let’s widen our view today. God doesn’t only want us to be anxiety-free. He wants us joyful, full of His peace, and living confidently in His presence.
Does that sound like your neighborhood? With streets named Honorable Avenue, Good Repute Drive, and Pure Lane, it looks like a place we’d all like to live. Make the right choices, and you won’t have to move at all.
Let’s take a walk through the neighborhood.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, decide to smile until the rest of you catches up with your face. No matter how you feel, you can smile, this alone will start the process toward rejoicing.
5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.
Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology defines gentleness: Sensitivity of disposition and kindness of behavior, founded on strength and prompted by love.
The Lord IS near, so rest in His provision and protection, and praise Him for it. Focusing on these things should bring out your gentle spirit for all to see, and doesn’t that sound lovely?
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
For me, this verse is God assuring us of His presence, His willingness for relationship with us, and reminder that He will answer our prayers if we only believe that He hears us (1 John 5:14-15).
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
How can we know, until the day we meet in heaven, the depth, and breadth of God’s love for us (Ephesians 3:17-19)? What we do know is that God is near and that He dwells in the heart of every believer; therefore, we can rejoice. He has anchored us in His love, and it is because of our relationship with God that we have nothing to fear. And since He stands guard at the door of our hearts and minds, we can experience true peace. His peace.
8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
I started this post in reverse order today. I noticed the word dwell and that got me thinking. To dwell is to live in or at a specified place. In this verse, Paul instructs us to dwell on a list of excellent things. To me, this says pause, think on these things, incorporate them in your decision-making and wisdom-sharing, and live in them.
Check out the neighborhood and stay awhile.
You don’t have to move. Instead, choose to let the Holy Spirit move you. Choosing to dwell in this place feels like the right thing to do, today and every day. What do you say?
You can also find me here this week:
Five Minute Fridays – A writing link-up. The one-word prompt this week is RIGHT.
Grace & Truth Weekly Christian Link-up at Lisa notes
Welcome Heart Let’s Have Coffee Link-up with Sue Donaldson Posting here for the first time.
Photo credits from unsplash.com:
Oana Craciun – Woman on bench
Miki Fath – Chalk drawing neighborhood
Qusai Akoud – Colorful neighborhood
This is a verse I often turn to. I love how you’ve broken it down here and made it a welcoming place to be! I’m glad to be your #fmf neighbor today!
Cindy, thanks for your generous comment. I tried something new. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.
Love your “neighborhood”, Suzette! A refreshing exegesis. I may need to quote you! Or at least follow your suggestion to dwell where it’s best, for me, for those I love. (PS You might inquire about submitting to Oh Wondrous Grace Chronicle as she includes the topic of Caregiving as well.)
Hi Sue, Quote away! Thanks for the generous compliment and the tip about Oh Wondrous Grace Chronicle. I’ll check it out.