Devotion #66

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7 ESV

It’s been a great reminder to be studying this passage this week. He has revealed such great wisdom to me in these verses through the years for how to battle the enemy of anxiousness and open my heart to the peace that surpasses all understanding. Even though I know these truths well, they still seem to slip through my fingers in the little moments of the day, especially as I watch our world changing before my eyes. It’s been a conscious battle not to let the anxiousness in my heart impact my conversations with my husband. It’s for that reason we need to get into His Word everyday—we need to be reminded us of His truths in order to replace the lies the world would have us believe. We need to remind each other to rejoice in the Lord every day for who He is and what He does, we need to remind each other to be reasonable and gentle in all our encounters with other people. Both are amazing truths that can bring us the peace we long for, but that’s not all He has for us in these verses. There is still so much more.

The Lord is at hand—in other words, God is at work. This may be my favorite part of this passage. The Lord is at hand. He’s got this, people. He’s in this and He is at work. I was pointed to the NLT version of 2 Chronicles 20:15 yesterday, and the reminder brought me such peace:  This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. In this passage, Judah and King Jehoshaphat are looking at an enemy they cannot defeat, so their hearts filled with fear. They looked into the future and imagined the worst. But God tells them not to fear the mighty army because He was in the battle. He already had a plan for how it was going to work out. The battle was His, not theirs. How much anxiety is caused in our lives by what we fear may happen, or because we’re looking to a future that we don’t know how to control?  How much anxiety is caused by our belief that we need to fight a battle that is not ours. The battle is not ours, my friends, it is God’s. Let that sink in. How much peace would enter our souls if we just released our white-knuckle grip on what should happen tomorrow, next week, or next year and trust that God is in control? 

Before we can truly trust that God is in control, we have to believe He is good. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28. We are promised in this verse that God works ALL things for the good for those who love Him. ALL things. If you have surrendered your heart to Jesus and have accepted Him into your life as your Lord and Savior, that promise is for you. He doesn’t say it’s for those of us who are good enough to deserve it, He doesn’t say it’s for some of us, He doesn’t say it’s for some of the time. He works ALL things for good, even in the moments we fear the worst may be coming, even in the moments we feel the worst is happening, He is at work and you can bank on the fact that good will come out of it. You can be confident because He promises it. By His very nature, the God of the universe cannot break promises. I could fill a book of stories that He has proven this to be true to me personally. In the darkest moments, when I’ve been obedient and latched on to this truth, not because of what I see in front of me, but simply because He made me a promise, He has shown up as faithful to fulfill every word of it. Our God is at work for our good.

The Lord is at work in our marriages—even when the path is unimaginably difficult, even when it’s confusing, even when it’s heartbreaking. Scripture is full of God at work stories all the way back to Genesis, but the beautiful part of God at work is He didn’t stop where the Bible does—He is still working today. Being a part of a community of believers who share their God at work stories strengthens our faith in such incredible ways. If you have them, share them. If your faith is weak, get with someone who has them and listen. God is at work all over the place, right here and right now. In fact, we’re told in Scripture He’s just looking for places to work. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. – 2 Chronicles 16:9. His eyes are searching for people who have the faith to believe He is at work. He wants to show up.

God is working in your life; He is working in this world, and He is working in your marriage. Trust Him. In moments we cannot see, in ways we don’t even notice, He is at work. Whenever I get discouraged, whenever I can’t see him in a situation, when my anxiety begins to mount, I cry out to Him and ask Him for a glimpse of Him at work. Sometimes, I just need to see a glimmer of hope to know the Lord is at hand. Though He doesn’t need to do this for me, He is always faithful to give me a peek into the broader picture and show me what He is doing. In some small way, He responds and I can see Him work.  He always restores my faith in the fact that He is good and He is at work. Pray for the ability to see Him at work, and He will open your eyes to see His hand.

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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