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.
Rejoicing is not dependent upon our situation but we can always have an attitude of rejoicing “in the Lord”
Be gentle to all.
Willing to yield our rights to “all”
Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
The Lord is near.
Paul was writing this in the context of the second coming of Christ. He is coming to make all things right. Be gentle to everyone because Jesus is coming and he will make everything right.
James 5:8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.
Do not be anxious about anything.
Paul used the broadest terms in describing the attitude we should have. When he uses the word anything he is indicating there is no reason to be anxious regardless of the circumstance we currently find ourselves in.
anxiety - a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
Paul doesn’t stop at, “Don’t be anxious.” He continues with the prescription for anxiety.
Every situation that presents and unknown and the possibility for anxiety.
Every situation can and will have unknowns and anxiety is born in the unknown.
Pray and ask.
Every situation is an opportunity to communicate and petition God. You are not bothering Him. He is emploring you as a sign of faith to ask Him to handle it. When I bring it to God it indicates that I trust He is powerful enough and willing to do something about it.
1 John 5:14 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
Psalm 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
Thanksgiving is the prerequisite for petition. Acknowledging what God has done and what He is doing is the qualifier to ask Him to do something else.
The results are better than you think.
A peace that passes all understanding.
The reason this peace is beyond understanding is that it doesn’t require the situation to change.
Guard your heart and mind.
We now can approach the same circumstances because we are guarded against the anxious causing unknowns. We now can walk through the very circumstances that paralyzed us in the past with a guard for our hearts and thoughts.
Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you.