I started of sending a word of encouragement to a sister in Christ and after I sent the email I realized that this is something that many of us (including myself) need to hear.
I don’t know about you but my mind has a way of doing me in some days. I will go along fine and then the same old disappointments and discouragements creep in and I start dwelling on my hurt, my pain, my loneliness, and all of the depressing things around me that pull me towards being anxious and even fearful.
As I read the specific message that this sister sent, God put Philippians 4:8 on my heart and when I looked it up He lead me to read the verses surrounding verse 8 and in verse 9 I suddenly had a revelation.
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 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. 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 4:4–9 ESV)
I have underlined some key points in verse 8 and verse 9. Before I keep going let’s look at those two verses again in the Amplified version.
“Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]. The things which you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things [in daily life], and the God [who is the source] of peace and well-being will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9 AMP)
The revelation in all of this is how we must take an active part of receiving God’s peace and well-being. I think the other key to this comes in Ephesians 4:30 “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” I feel like when we allow ourselves to dwell in our pain, fear, anxiety, and the “what-ifs” of life that we grieve the Holy Spirit because we aren’t putting our trust in Him. If we put our trust in God, give Him our concerns and practice the instructions that Paul gave us to keep our thoughts in the things listed in verse 8 we not only won’t grieve the Spirit but by not only thinking those things but practicing them as well we will honor Him and bring Him glory.
Let’s ask God to help us not to grieve His precious Spirit but also to help us focus on the good things and to practice them on a daily basis.
Most High Sovereign God, I come to You humbled and convicted by this revelation. I just lay my pain and loneliness at your feet. I offer my intercession for all my brothers and sisters that read this devotion that You gave me to write. Please help us all to not grieve Your precious Holy Spirit but to dwell in the good, true, honorable things that we are taught to in Philippians 4 verse 8. Please show us opportunities to practice these good things in our daily lives and make your peace very real in our lives. Precious Spirit of God, please honor our efforts, help us, and hold our hearts to abide in Your peace and joy. We Love You God and we pray these things in the name of Christ Jesus our Lord. AMEN