Rejoice and Praise The Lord Regardless
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;
-6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. -ESV
Do not be anxious about anything? This comes in the form of a command and surely is relevant for us today in the middle of a major economic crisis and a culture that seems to be leaving us behind. In effect Paul says here—Don’t worry pray instead and be thankful. This is the way of the Kingdom and the path of faith which leads us in an entirely different direction than the dominant culture.
We know that Paul actually lived out this command praising God after being beaten and thrown in prison, ministering to those around him regardless of the circumstances, even writing this scripture and others while he was in custody.
Remember, we have a God who wants only the best for us and we have a Lord who understands what we are going through, and we have a Holy Spirit which is with us in the midst of all of our troubles inspiring us to seek the best—we are not alone, praise God and be thankful!
The passage also remind me of what Jesus said in Matt. 6:25-34 plus the Greek word for anxious is the same in this passage also:
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” …
…“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”…
“O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, …For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
The basic message in both of these passages is the same—live according to faith and not like the dominant culture. Praise God, seek His Kingdom, pray continually, remember to be thankful and it will be well with you and yours for all eternity including the few years lived on this earth and in these chaotic times.
Believe me I know how difficult this may seem sometimes and I certainly am guilty of letting bad circumstances get to me and bring me down for a while. But with God everything is possible and when we let His Spirit to be more a part of our daily lives than it is increasingly fulfilled in us as we actually gain the mind of Christ and peace floods into our daily lives in spite of ourselves.