Nearly 2,000 years ago, the apostle Paul revealed the secret for finding peace in an ever-changing and often chaotic world.
“Rejoice in the Lord always.
Again I will say, rejoice!
Let your gentleness be known to all men.
The Lord is at hand.
Be anxious for nothing,
but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving,
let your requests be made known to God;
and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true,
whatever things are noble, whatever things are just,
whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely,
whatever things are of good report,
if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy
meditate on these things.”
Joy, gentleness and freedom from anxiety are qualities that indicate stability in the life of authentic Christians. Paul writes in the imperative voice. His command to rejoice, to demonstrate gentleness with everyone we encounter and to maintain a mindset that is free from anxiety—all imply that we have a choice in how we respond to difficulties.
We can choose to have joy in spite of our circumstances. We can choose to be gentle in our treatment of others. Peace is more than an elusive feeling. Instead, peace is emotional well-being that stems from the choices we make in approaching day-to-day problems.
The foundation for stability in our circumstances requires choosing what fills our mind. We easily comprehend the seven distinctives in Paul’s list because they are self-defining and need no interpretation.
Your life expresses the focus of your mind. Rather than cluttering our minds with the unwholesome message of popular culture or obsessing about all that is wrong in our personal experience and world, we can determine to concentrate on what is honorable, constructive, excellent and praiseworthy.
Begin today by filling your mind with these few verses from the Word of God as the first step. Follow Paul’s advice and loop a list of things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, positive, virtuous and commendable through your thought process. This is the apostle’s formula for peace that provides protection for our hearts and minds—no matter what storms we encounter in the world today.
1) Peace in the Storm. (Image used for illustrative purposes) (Photo credit: Pixabay/[No attribution required]/Enhancement, MKM Portfolios)
Copyright © 2016 Charles E. McCracken. devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Charles E. McCracken is an international Bible teacher, long-time friend of Israel and advocate for the Jewish people. Rev. McCracken’s presentations have relevance for those seeking to understand the significance of Israel and the church. He staunchly supports the nation of Israel and the Jewish people’s right to exist and live in peace.