Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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.
I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi is one that needs to be read over and over again. It’s filled with joy and hope. It’s a reminder that God is in control. However, Paul also reminds that it is our responsibility to be more like Christ and continue on in our service regardless of suffering and temporary setbacks. Paul himself was imprisoned. What more of a setback could we have?
I’m getting ready to begin a whole new phase of my life. As I sit here typing this I do not know where I will live, what I will be doing, or how I will feel physically at this time next year. But I am confident that if it is the Lord’s will that I’m here at all, He will work out the details. That doesn’t mean I’m going to just sit back and do nothing and wait for divine generosity. It means I’m going to do my part, day after day. It means I’m going to pray about my decisions. And it means I’m going to thank God for his answers.
These verses came to me in a “round about” way this morning because this would have been my parent’s anniversary. They were married just before my father graduated from high school in 1949 and then they drove off to California to seek a new life. I often marveled at my mother’s faith and strength over the years as she quietly battled poverty, illness, and loneliness. She had a grace and dignity that sustained her, encouraged us, and inspired others. I recall her planting flowers and attending church and working to give her children a better life. I remember her laughing more than crying.
Being a Christian doesn’t mean living an easy life. It doesn’t mean having all the answers. It doesn’t even mean always doing the right thing. It means being supported and guided and rewarded by someone who expects two things in return: love and obedience.
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.