“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”Philippians 4:4-7 NIV
Q. Do I rejoice n the Lord always, not in my situation ?
Not being gentle goes with being anxious in every situation !
Q. So what is the problem really ?
Our focus is on the world / situation and not on God.
Q. Do we believe God is in control ? Even in our tough situations ? Do we believe that God is working in our tough situations or only in the good ones?
The bad / tough situations is from satan and God cannot work through them. Noooo.
Q. What about the first century Christians that suffered ? Wasn’t God in control,there ?
“Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.” – John 15:20 NIV
Q. Do we believe that we will suffer for Christ ?
Next question: Why do we need to be gentle ? It says the Lord is near. Wow !!!
Q. How aware are you of God’s presence during the day ? Is it a reality to you ?
“The Lord watches over you— the Lord is your shade at your right hand;” – Psalm 121:5 NIV
Q. Is God the shade at your right hand ?
Again it is about our faith in God; being with us.
Sooooo, what are some practicals that we can implement ?
- Prayer – Prayer, petitions & thanksgiving. Looks like a progression in prayer. We all pray, especially in bad situation. What is your prayer life like? I know I love reading my bible and articles. How much time do you spend in prayer ? 5 minutes, 15 mintues, … If ur friend comes over to visit, how long would you like him / her to stay ? The whole night hey. Why then is it different with God ? ““Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” – Matthew 7:7-8 NIV
- Prayer – Petitioning. What about petitioning ? Many a time when there are political rallies, just a few go and petition. I am normally the one watching them on the TV. So how serious are you about God answering your prayer ? Make it fun, get a blackboard and mount it on a handle and write with chalk on it your petition. Take a selfie of it and share it on facebook that ur friends can also pray for you. Let’s get those pic’s out there !!! “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”” – Luke 18:1,7-8. How strong is your faith ?
- Prayer – Thanksgiving. Are you thanking God for answering your prayers already ? The question is; is your asking according to His will ? “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” – John 14:13 NIV. Will God answering your prayers, glorify Him not you ?
- Prayer – Practising the presence of God, by praying short prayers throughout the day. Apparently there was a brother Lorance who prayed to God in every situation. “Lord I thank you for this day ! God your name be glorified ! God I thank your for this situation that I am in because it helps me trust in you !” You can put post it notes on ur computer screen to remind you to pray short prayers or reminders on ur phone using alarms.
- Prayer – The gentle wisper. “After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” – 1 Kings 19:12-13 NIV. Prayer by listening to God. Have you ever prayed without saying a word, but simply sitting in silence, tuning your ear to that gentle whisper? Why not seriously try silence and solitude for just 10 minutes, or an hour—or a day! This is not mysticism; it is relationship.
- Making disciples – “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20 NIV. Make a disciple, baptise them and teach them to obey everything. Jesus will be with us to the very end of the age.
Q. What is the peace of God that will guard our hearts ?
Many other scripture refer to the peace as the Holy Spirit, which makes sence. We will be filled with God’s presence.
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
James 4:7-10 NIV