“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 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.” (Philippians 4:4-7)
There are 4 words in this passage that are the linchpin of these verses – “The Lord is near!” Here is why I say this…
Because THE LORD IS NEAR we can rejoice always – One of the great promises that is reiterated again and again in Scripture is the promise that God is with us. You can’t get much nearer than that. When we know the abiding presence of God then no matter what the circumstances are that we face in this life we can still rejoice – knowing that God is in control and that His joy will be our strength through whatever comes our way.
Because THE LORD IS NEAR we don’t have to be anxious about anything – Statistics tell us that over 40 million US citizens suffer from anxiety disorders and more than $22 billion is spent trying to treat them. If this is true then there is a LOT of worrying go on out there. And I suspect that a lot of that worrying is being done by believers. But what if we really understood that at ALL times and in ALL circumstances and ALWAYS the Lord is near. Shouldn’t that help to curb our fears and our anxieties? If you deal with worry, start repeating these 4 words throughout the day, again and again… THE LORD IS NEAR! Remind yourself that He is indeed near. I can’t help but think that it will help.
Because THE LORD IS NEAR we can pray with confidence knowing that God will hear us. If I were to whisper something to someone that is 100 yards away from me, I would have little confidence that I would be heard. But if I were to whisper something to my dad in who’s lap I was sitting I feel certain I would be heard. This is what prayer for the believer is like. THE LORD IS NEAR. Our Father has invited us to come and sit in his lap as He sits on His throne of grace. We can talk to Him about anything – and even if we speak in whispers He will hear us.
May the Lord remind us of His nearness today as we deal with everything that today will bring our way.