Today's Reading: Philippians 4:4-9
Key Verse: Philippians 4:9 (NLT) 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
It's interesting to me that the Apostle Paul ends the book on the joy of the Gospel by addressing anxiety among believers. Life can be hard sometimes. We can become anxious about our marriage being shaky, our kids going through growing pains, our careers being uncertain, and our finances running out. The truth is, there is no escape from the challenges of life and the effects they can have on us. Some anxiety is normal and moves us toward accomplishment. However, too much anxiety can steal your joy, peace, and productivity.
Here's the question: How do we live with joy and peace when there's no escape from the challenges of life?
Paul reminds us that we should always rejoice in the presence of the Lord in every circumstance. We should cultivate a praying and grateful heart while thinking about the right things rather than the wrong things. The wrong things to meditate on are things that are
negative, out of your control, weaknesses, failures, and events of the past. The more you focus on the wrong things the less peace you have. The right things to think about are things that are of God; his abiding presence, his unconditional love, his unending strength and power in your life. God has given you strengths and values that have shaped who you are today. Think about the good in you and leverage it to navigate your daily challenges.
Here's the problem: We stop doing what we know to do when life is good.
When life is going great we pray less, read his word less, meditate on scripture less and spend less time taking care of ourselves. The result of our inconsistency is a blind-side when something goes wrong.
Here's the solution: The thing that shapes our lives the most is what we do consistently every day.
Paul says to keep putting these things into practice. We have to think on the right things consistently, every day. The thoughts you dwell on create your emotions and your emotions determine your actions and how you approach life. The key principle here is to shape your thinking in a way that lines up with God's word, his character, his presence, his power, and his love for you! But it has to be done consistently - every day!
Keep REACHING FORWARD to God's best in your life by developing a consistent habit of thinking on the right things. May the God of peace be with you today!
Feel free to share your thoughts.