“May I have candy for breakfast?” Did my daughter just ask me that? Doesn’t she worry about the calories, nutrition, or the things it might do to her teeth? Nope. Not a bit. That’s why she asks every day. She doesn’t worry because she knows that I’ll take care of her. All she has to do is trust that I know what’s best for her. It leaves her free to be joyful.
- How does knowing your Father watches out for you and loves to care for you give you joy?
READ THE WORD: PHILIPPIANS 4:2-9 (ESV)
2 I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. 3 Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
(Today’s questions focus on verses 4-7. Verses 2-3 were covered previously, and verses 8-9 will be covered in our next study.)
- What does it look like to rejoice, and how can you rejoice in the Lord?
- What does this passage suggest we can do instead of being anxious (vss. 6-7)?
- If you were to rejoice, be thankful, and know the Lord’s peace, how would this change the way you pray or the things you ask of God?
- Verse 7 says, “And the peace of God will…guard your hearts and your minds.” How does that work? Does this seem counterintuitive? Why or why not?
- What is causing anxiety in your life today? Pray about that situation. What do you have to rejoice over? For what are you thankful?
RESPOND TO GOD
It is hard to put away worry and doubt. Sometimes our own fear holds us back. To dwell on the Lord takes discipline and a sense of expectation that the Lord will meet us, but it changes everything. “The Lord is at hand,” so we are not alone. There’s someone always looking out for us!
- Pray that God will give you a pure joy in him.
- Spend some time praying with thanksgiving (vs. 6). Thank God for the first ten things that come to mind.
- Seek to share your joy with others today. Who would those people be? Pray for them, that they too may rejoice in the Lord.