These are the apostle Paul’s inspired words of encouragement for those of us who tend to get bogged down in the muck and mire of everyday existence. They come from a profound understanding that for those who have a true faith in God – that He will watch over and protect – no matter what’s going on in your life. To give you the full context of this passage, I’ll quote it below. It comes from Philippians 4: 4-9. It’s one of my favorite biblical passages. I’ll quote it from the Amplified Bible, as it tends to explain certain terms by defining them in parentheses.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice!
5 Let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness (your considerateness, your forbearing spirit). The Lord is near [He is close].
6 Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.
7 And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Also, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].
9 Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you.
For those of us who have a particular problem with focusing on the negative (ah, that would be me), I bolded verse 8. I find that if I keep that particular passage in the forefront of my mind, that it’s easier to traverse difficult moments during the day. It’s a way that I can proactively affect my life. I must continuously remind myself that there’s no place in my mind and life for the negative. The only thing negativity does is propagate more negative, stress and anxiety. Does the phrase “sick with worry” sound familiar?
Join me today in meditating upon the truths that are written above. If we practice them, then I truly believe and know that God’s peace (as stated above in vs. 7), which truly does pass all understanding, will pervade our hearts and minds – even through the difficulties that we are facing.