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. (Philippians 4:4-7)
G E N T L E N E S S : yielding, bearing with each other with patience, not asserting power
N E A R : a couple ways of looking at this one. 1. His Presence is always with us, watching over us, calming us into with his gentleness. 2. His return is near and motivates our actions.
I like to focus on the first meaning. Rejoice in the Lord. Feel calm and yielding in his close presence. Lay down our anxieties in conversation with him. Thank him. And His peace will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Lord Jesus, we need you. We need your calming presence in us, near us, surrounding us. Help us to lay down our burdens, to lay down our power and yield to you. Build in us patience to bear with one another in love. Thank you that you promise to always be with us.
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Just before the famous 4:13, Paul speaks about how he's learned to be content no matter the circumstances--rich or poor, well fed or hungry. The secret: God gives him strength in ALL circumstances. Paul trusts God to come through no matter what is happening to him
Now that is something I need way more than the strength to cliff dive or stick a landing, the strength to BE CONTENT no matter what.
"Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life." Philippians 2:15
Anytime I tell myself not to do something, that is what I do. So how can we spin this in the positive? Develop contentment and do conflict well, speaking truth in love.