During the Sunday Service, I gleaned from Pastor Jerry’s sermon as he read from Philippians 4:1-9.
Paul was writing from prison, yet even in his situation he was rejoicing in the Lord.
In his letter he urged the Christians to be of like mindedness and not to argue; not to worry or be anxious, but to present their needs to God in faith believing that they would receive. Paul also advised them to be cautious about their thought life.
Philippians 4:8 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.
Pastor said there is an old Chinese proverb that says:
“May you live in interesting times.”
Today we worry about many things, terror, disease, our planet, our health and our family’s health. It only takes a moment to understand crisis that others are going through here and world wide and it makes our problems seem small.
Pastor mentioned that he had just re-read the classic book “Grapes of Wrath” set during the great depression, and the incredible issues and treatment by fellow Americans.
Back to Paul’s letter 62 AD to the Philippians, as he told them to rejoice in the Lord Always and not to worry.
Jesus also admonished people not to worry or be in fear.
We might say, “That is easier said than done.”
The Christians all had problems of their own and Paul was in prison, a terrible dungeon, yet he was able to rejoice in God. He rejoiced nine times in different ways.
Before Paul received Jesus he was successful, well educated, respected and looked up to. He was willing to give all that up to follow Christ Jesus. He counted the loss of all things as nothing compared to the peace and blessing given to him by the Lord.
Sometimes it is difficult to rejoice always. Thankfully we have assurance in the Living Word of God. We can invest our time in prayer and worship and practice thankfulness.
We can’t live in constant anxiety. Do we want an inner calm? We can learn to put our mental energy into productive thoughts as we remember the proclamation of Paul in verse 8.
Maybe Paul is right and we can mature to discover peace even in tough times.
We have good intentions to pray, but our mind goes off in all directions as we think of things we need to do.
Paul encouraged the members to get along with each other, to do good works and to rejoice, not worry and bring their thoughts into subjection.
It is important to be concerned and not forget about the needs of the world and of others close by. There are troubles in our church as we face the future.
The main thing is - - if we excessively worry we fail to feed the poor and go about doing the things we need to do.
At times we need to read the newspaper or watch the news to at least keep up with what is going on in our world and in our town so we know how to pray.
We do live in interesting times.