I wonder how much my life would be different if I simply lived by Philippians 4? I look at all of scripture and do my best to live by its teaching as much as possible, but chapters such as this bring me back to the simplicity of it all.
You see…sometimes I take this large conglomerate of knowledge and wisdom that we call the bible and I end up packaging it in such a way that it becomes too big for my everyday life. This chapter, though, makes quick work of exemplifying some simple yet life changing principles that should never become out of reach or buried or lost in the conglomeration.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (verse 4)
Oh, how the world in my midst would change if I learned to truly rejoice…not just when I “felt” like it, but at all times.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (verses 6 & 7)
What a picture of prayer this is and what a picture I so frequently fail to provide. Why is it that find it so difficult to ask, when right here it is so clear that God desires our requests to be made with a heart of thanksgiving. And not only does it provide the freedom to make those requests, it gives s a glimpse of how God is able to encounter us upon those requests.
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (verse 8 )
Such a reminder on what and where my mind should rest. These are verses that, if kept in sight throughout my day, could change the very nature of my presence. How my mind, body and spirit could find peace and comfort if my thoughts and meditations were set on these wonderful attributes.
“…for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (verses 11-13)
All things?…that’s a promise that bulges the bounds of my understanding, but at the same time gives me great hope in how God intends me to live. When my apparent weakness rears its head, I can know that beyond my simple strength, lays the strength to overcome all.