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. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4: 8-9 (NASB)
Where is your mind? What are you focused on? Where are your thoughts taking you?
Our world is currently in a state of fear, confusion, worry, anxiety, and chaos which seems out of control.
I have been watching it unfold as many of you have. At times, I have felt fear rising in me. I could feel a knot in my throat trying to rise. I could feel the tears wanting to just pour out. Then, just as I feel I may implode, the Lord sends me a reminder that He is still in control. He will bring a Bible verse to mind, or He will put my name on the heart of a close friend which leads to getting a text or call. He will allow sunbeams to shine through my window and the birds will be chirping a beautiful song. I will hear one of my grandbabies on the phone saying my name and telling me about their day. I will walk in the once empty aisle and find exactly what I need, not abundance, but just enough. Those are my “whatever is lovely” moments these days and I choose to “dwell on those things”.
One of my favorite passages of scripture is Philippians chapter 4. Two verses in particular come to mind in the midst of what is going on in the world. Verses 6-7 tell us to “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Anxiety is all around us. Sometimes I think I can literally see it, especially when I head into a grocery store. This week, God has nudged me over and over to speak, smile and stand in the light of His presence in every opportunity- including those empty grocery store aisles. He wants me to show His peace to someone who doesn’t have it; someone who may not know where to find peace in this chaos. I can tell you, I have had more opportunities these last two weeks to share Him than I have had in months. Why, because our God is in total control, even when it seems there is no control.
So, why do I have this peace? Why can I keep moving forward in all of this even when I am not certain of the outcome? Let me take you back to Philippians chapter 4. The very end of verse 5 tells us “the Lord is near.” That is why I can have peace in the craziness!
He is near!!
This last week, one of my favorite Bible teachers and leaders talked about this very same thing. She told of a time when this verse stared her in the face at one of the most difficult times in her life. She told of sitting in her doctor’s office anxiously awaiting results of a cancer test. There was only one empty chair in the room. As this verse came to mind, she decided to believe that empty chair was where God was sitting. Absolutely beautiful!
Ladies, the Lord is near. He is not going anywhere, He is with you!! Find that “empty chair” in the room you are in and let Him remind you that He is with you. THE LORD IS NEAR!!
Take heart precious ones. God is in control, He sees you, He hears you and He will not forsake you. He loves you with a love that I could never put into words. He put it into action at the cross! What more does He need to do to prove to you how much He loves you? He will not change His mind about you. You are His beloved. Cling to Him. Find your “whatever is lovely” moments and hold them close.
1. Take some time to read Philippians 4 and let God weave it through every anxious thought that creeps in. Fill up the margins of your Bible with the things He shows you.
2. We want to encourage each other. Share with us your thoughts or prayer needs. We are a community with unleashed hearts for sharing the love of our amazing Savior.
So, let’s get to sharing- the time is now.