The truth is that God is in control of every day of our lives. ~ Jennie Allen
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. — Philippians 4:8
You know how sometimes God repeatedly puts something RIGHTINFRONTOFYOURFACE so you have zero chance of missing it? Yeah. That.
The non-stop message for me has been “Rejoice”.
Like Jennie, I can spiral with the best of them. How about you? What-ifs are my specialty. I thought about going pro but the pay is no good. 😉
This is why I love Paul so much. Christian platitudes from people who haven’t been through hardship and trauma fall as flat as fizz-free soda, don’t they? But, when someone who has truly suffered, someone who knows pain intimately, someone who’s come up to the very tippy-tippy edge of the cliff or even fallen over it… when a person like that has words of wisdom, sit down and take notes!
Our man, Paul, sat in a jail cell with execution hanging over his head and he said, “Don’t worry. Think uplifting thoughts.” WHAT?
Here’s what he’s saying in Philippians 4:6-7:
Do not be anxious about anything. (No, not one teeny tiny thing. Do. Not. Worry. About it.)
But in every situation (Every single circumstance. Including that thing. You know what I mean.)
By prayer and petition (Talk God about every single thing and ask Him for what you need.)
With thanksgiving (Don’t forget to be grateful! Seriously. Stop right now and give thanks!)
Present your requests to God. (He already knows what you need anyway so be humble and tell Him about it.)
And the peace of God (His very own divine and perfect peace.)
Which transcends all understanding (We’ll never wrap our minds around the inscrutable peace of our Lord!)
Will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (It’ll save your life. And your heart. And your mind.)
Fight back against the lies. Do not engage with the what-ifs. Don’t play out scenarios in your head. Don’t let a tidal wave of fear wash you away. Just straight up refuse to go there.
Do we acknowledge our hurts and struggles? Yes. Are they still real? Yes! This isn’t bandaids over bullet holes. But, it’s resting our full weight on Jesus. Doing the Nestea plunge into His safe grace. Putting everything on our hearts into His hands and then celebrating that He. Is. In. Control.
Find the joy right now. Today. In the middle of worries, or hard stuff, difficult family members, a pandemic, and a partridge in a pear tree.
Don’t wait to rejoice. Live rejoicing!
Even if you’re worried that something bad is coming straight at you or something bad is honestly and truly coming straight at you. Look to Jesus.
While waiting for medical results.
While that kid is wheeling out of control.
When money is scary.
When just plain going outside is scary!
In the middle of loss, we can still laugh.
During setbacks, we can smile.
In recession, we can rest and release our concerns to the Throne of Grace.
In disquietude, we can dance.
When future fears leave us tight-chested, get up. Sing. Have a dance party in your kitchen. Shout AMEN!
The what-ifs are going to happen or not happen. God is still here with us and He loves us beyond the beyond the beyond.
In 20 years, if our worst what-iffing happens, He will give us what we need. ~ Jennie
As someone who has walked through the valley and parked there for a while, I’ll tell you what saves my heart and my mind (and He’s still up in my face about it today!): rejoicing in Jesus.
Thank God today.
Think about what is true.
Fix your mind of Jesus.
This week in your study:
- Watch the video for session six on our study home page. Take notes in your study guide starting on page 127 and then come chat with us!
- Grab your Bible and enjoy your personal study this week on pages 131-151.
- Join the conversations about the study and in our private Facebook group.
Scriptures this Week
Prayer for the Week
Jesus, we love You! Thank You that You are the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. You are what it’s all about. This life is hard and wonderful, painful and beautiful, but it’s also short and sweet! Help us to remember that You’re the goal and the prize. Keep us long-sighted, Jesus. We love You with all that we are, Lord. Amen.