Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].Philippians 4:6-7
Good morning, friends. How are things with you? Are you confused yet? Are you tired of the multitude of conflicting voices in the debate over whether we need to stay in or go out, amidst the angst of coping with life as it is right now? Shh! Be quiet and get still. Listen. God is speaking. Let’s talk about things from a different perspective for a moment.
Why should we not be anxious or worried about anything? God, the creator of the universe and the creator of all of life is in control. It may not feel like it, but it is true. Not only is He in control, He acts and responds to the cries of His children. He is not distant nor is He deaf. He is concerned about all the matters that concern us.
God can be trusted. He is at work in the midst of this virus. Even in the fear, the suffering, the pain, the death, the wretched economy, the confusion….God is at work. We can ask our questions: Why? Where are You? What are You doing? And we may not receive our answers. But we can trust that God is at work.
Yes, we should go ahead and make our requests of God. What is in your heart and your mind to ask of Him? Perhaps it might be a good idea to ask Him how we should pray. And then we should stop long enough to listen for His answer and His heart. Then we can pray.
However, be sure to notice how we are to bring our requests to God. With thanksgiving! Now I do not know Greek, but I do have a good concordance. I love to use it because I love words, and the concordance gives me an extended sense of word meanings. Thanksgiving means gratitude, grateful language (to God, as an act of worship):-thankfulness, (giving of) thanks. Thanksgiving is important because it changes our perspective on life. The peace of God is released when we express gratitude.
I needed a reminder this morning. This reminder came in the form of an interview with Joni Erickson Tada. You may not know Joni’s story. Fifty-three years ago (as a 17-year old), Joni dived into a much-too-shallow lake and sustained injuries that caused her to be a quadriplegic ever since. You can read or listen here. Do take time to hear what Joni has to say. Our young people today are facing many disappointments, but for a 17-year-old Joni to face a life without the ability to use arms or legs, something more was needed.
Do be praying also. Pray for God’s working for good in this situation. Pray for your family. Pray for your neighbors. Pray for health-care providers who are human beings, being stretched beyond imagination both physically and emotionally. Bring it all before God, with thanksgiving.