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 everything, 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.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable– if anything is excellent or praiseworthy– think about such things (and Rejoice!) Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:4-9
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Is breakfast your favorite time, or a midnight snack? Do you like your coffee in the bright cold light of dawn or under the warm sun of midday?
Whatever time is yours there are doubtless challenges to the serenity of those moments, matters of grave concern or merely irritations that rub you the wrong way. Maybe you have an illness to contend with, yours or your babies’. Or you may be dealing with the troubles of aging and ailing parents whom you love and dread losing.
Other things may be disturbing the peace of your time. Traffic on your morning commute may be stressing you out. Potholes and last winter’s road salt may be transforming your favorite ride into a molting rustbucket. Political talk radio may be causing you to talk back, and in language, you would not like your mother to overhear.
Any adult who does not struggle with any such thing, please raise your hand––high so I can see––yeah, I thought so.
Everyone faces these and many other challenges to their peace of mind. Some people seem to have endless grace and patience so that they never appear to lose their temper. They always seem happy, and they’re even able to encourage and uplift others who are struggling.
What’s their secret? What do they know that I don’t?
Truly, it is no secret, and you’ve probably known all along. Focus on the good. Count your blessings. Lay your burdens on the Lord. Replace your worries with hope. Trust in the promises of God.
We’ve been reading these verses, and singing many of them for ages. Even in the times of the Patriarchs and Judges and the Kings of Israel, the Prophets of God admonished the faithful to rely on God in times of trouble and to ponder his love and providence when times were hard.
This guidance is no less relevant and powerful today, and not one bit less effective. If a handy guide is helpful to you, try reading one verse every day during “your time."
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable––if anything is excellent or praiseworthy––think about such things.” and Rejoice! Philippians 4:8.
Let me be so bold as to promise you that if you look for these things and ponder their truth, nobility, and other qualities you will certainly see things to bring peace and joy to your heart.