Tuesday, March 24 2020
The apostle Paul wrote from a prison cell to the Philippians, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”
Paul’s prison was a physical one but he would certainly relate to the prisons of anxiety, quarantine, or cabin fever in which we find ourselves. He is teaching us how to not only deal with every situation and circumstance but to experience joy in them. It all boils down to a choice to rejoice (I really didn’t mean to do that, please forgive me…but it was pretty good). But the choice to rejoice does not happen without some other choices. This is how spiritual transformation happens – we can’t do it by ourselves but God will not do it without us.
1) Be gentle – i.e. be careful how we treat other people. The word means “power under control” and refers to a quality that only the strong can afford. This is not weakness.
2) Remember that the Lord is always near – closer to us than our very breath.
3) Turn anxiety into prayer and supplication “with thanksgiving” – look for the good even in the worst.
4) Let God’s unexplainable peace protect you emotionally and mentally.
5) Fill your mind and meditate on authentic, real, right, clean, pleasant, good, excellent, and commendable thoughts. Basically, things that focus on and bring out the best in ourselves and others.
Spiritual transformation is the path to joy. Spiritual transformation always involves our emotions, desires, thoughts, and actions. Spiritual growth happens best in the situations and circumstances that require it. This is one of those times – may you grow and experience the peace, joy, and love that passes all understanding.
A couple of things that may be helpful to know –
* Live-Stream – Sunday at 9:30 at https://wpcspartanburg.org/live. Past services are also available.
* Ways to help -
Pray for our covenant partners in health care and government; and for our health care and governmental leaders locally, state-wide, nationally and internationally. I hope to see you very soon.