February 16, 2018

Philippians 4:6-7

These are my favorite verses to send to friends who are in pain. Some may be suffering physically, while others may be dealing with loss or broken relationships. No matter what may be going on in their lives, I believe these verses bring comfort. In times of trouble, anxiety often takes over our minds. We worry and stress and become consumed with the issue before us. Paul urges the believers at Philippi to take every anxious thought and turn it into prayer. Much in life is out of our control, so instead of worry about the “what ifs,” turn our concerns into prayer. I like to imagine wrapping each worry tightly and laying them at the feet of Jesus. When we do this, Paul says the “peace of God,” which is greater than we could ever understand, will come and guard our hearts and our minds. Read the Message version of these verses:

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

When things are broken and shattered in our lives, God’s wholeness comes and fills the gap. When we cannot understand our hurt, God’s wholeness settles our hearts and our minds moment by moment. God’s peace allows Jesus to take the place of worry in our lives. What a powerful statement to a world full of hurt and confusion: our God sustains us and is our wholeness each and every day.