by Pam Farrel @PamFarrel
If there were a power verse for joy, it would be this one:
Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice. Philippians 4:4 ESV
When doing a word study on rejoice, I found this meant: REJOICE (lean in and delight in God’s grace) at ALL times, I repeat, REJOICE (choose to be glad and joyful because of ALL God gives us)!
What a command! But God gives the “How how-to” in verses 6-7.
Do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus. ESV
God doesn’t want us to be anxious, worried, and loaded down with cares. As we ask, request, and petition God, the confidence comes in believing we are giving the circumstance to the only One who has the real power to answer—the Almighty God—the King of Kings! And as we make this transaction, God gives us a gift back—peace that is beyond comprehension!
This week, use this joy builder: pray over worrisome situations using a name of God. Here is a favorite exercise I use for releasing anxiety and to imagine this exchange of our worries for his peace:
Imagine your greatest stress is placed into your right hand, wrap your fingers around this anxiety, now lift it heavenward; open your fingers and present it at the foot of the throne of heaven. Leave your care there but keep your hand open. Now think of all the traits and names of God, which name of God would be best to hang your heart on to find hope, joy, and peace. If you struggle to pick which trait, choose the name or trait of God that would be opposite of your stress. For example, if you care is your anxiety, trade it for the peace of God, then when you get home, look up all the verses about God being peace and giving peace. String your favorite verses together, put your name in the series of verses, and personalize God’s Word to your life.
To keep the peace, Paul’s last instruction is to guard your mind and thought life—keep doing this—and the God of peace will be with you:
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. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9 ESV
Now dwell on these things, all day, every day. And start each day and each season of life willing to give your greatest fear and anxiety to God and receive his radical peace.
About the author: Pam Farrel is an author of 48 books, including Amazon bestseller Discovering Hope in the Psalms: 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman and her newest book releases today (!!): Discovering Joy in Philippians: A Creative Bible Study Experience (coauthored with Jean E Jones and Karla Dornacher). Pam and her husband, Bill are international speakers, relationship experts and Co-directors of Love-Wise.
If difficult days have ever left you discouraged, Pam’s brand-new book: Discovering Joy in Philippians: A Creative Bible Study Experience, will help you engage creatively with God’s Word and establish habits that lead to greater joy and peace.
Join the conversation: What are your favorite names of God?