Rejoice in the Lord always! I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, 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. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if anything is excellent, and if anything is praiseworthy, think about these things.
Thank you, dear Heavenly Father,
You have given us the gift of these words. While we should never worry about the matters around us, our sinful nature tries to divert our attention off of you. For your apostle Paul to write these words is significant. He was stoned, jailed, beaten, shipwrecked, falsely accused, and incarcerated some more. Yet through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, you had him pen these words for us to make our requests known to you. When we turn our cares to you, you promise peace will come over us. While whatever is challenging us is still there, we know the results are according to your plan by putting them into your hands. You provide for us according to our spiritual well-being. You have already provided for our salvation and faith; you sent Jesus as our Savior and the Holy Spirit as our sanctifier. Forgiveness of sins was won for us by Christ, and this gift became ours through faith created by your Spirit. When troubles assault us, give us the strength to turn it over to you. Then redirect our attention away from these troubles and think of you. We should think of what is honorable when our honor is challenged. Focus on what is right when things are going wrong. Shift our attention to what is pure when sin assails us. Look for what is lovely when hate is all around. Think of commendable and praiseworthy things when we are slighted. Point out what is excellent when the world seems corrupt. Send us your Spirit so we can focus on the goodness you bring to us and no longer on the evils of the world. Thank you for this new day to focus on you. Amen.
Pastor Roger Emmons
Time to refocus and have a change of heart. Especially when God has given us so much goodness all around us, with Jesus’ help, he will guard our hearts and minds; with the Holy Spirit, we can have a change of heart to adjust our focus.