“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 (NIV)
Often when I read this passage I ask: “How come when I pray, I don’t feel like rejoicing? ….How come I don’t feel the peace of God which surpasses or transcends all comprehension? I can’t help but feel anxious, What’s the deal God?”
In my flesh, I often forget that the Lord is always near. I get lazy and stop making a daily choice to renew my mind in this truth. Often the result is anxiousness and preoccupation on things that don't benefit me or my family. I don't rejoice then.
However, when I consciously choose daily to remind myself of His love and truth, then things start to look different, even in difficult circumstances. Joy creeps in, and it's the result of little reminder prayers that I offer up multiple times a day.
It's simple, but it takes discipline. If we choose daily to renew our minds in Christ through prayer, we start to experience joy and shed anxious thoughts. If we miss a day, it's ok; get back on track tomorrow. It's a marathon, not a sprint. As we build this discipline of mind renewal in Christ, we truly find the "peace of God."
- Jamie McClay