Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand. Have no anxiety 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 passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Thought for the Day: Always Rejoice in the Lord and you will feel His peace.
My husband is the minister of music and worship ministries in a church. As he talked last week about the theme for Sunday’s Worship service, he said it was a tough area to find music for and for the preacher to prepare a sermon. The area was “peace”. At first, I thought, “That can’t be that bad.” But then, I listened more to what he was saying. As we look at today’s world we see war, violence, unrest, fear of neighbors, bad talk about those that look different, and so much more. To find a way to talk about peace when we see the news with images of the results of war is almost impossible. As we look into the lives of those around us, there is also unrest. We stress over finances, careers, children, grandchildren, and almost every area of our lives. I do, I wake up almost every morning jolted into my day by thoughts of things I need to do to help with our finances and what I need to do to prepare food for my family. I am a worrier, I take after my mother, I am a worrier.
Our pastor preached a wonderful sermon where he began by saying he struggled as he prepared because he is also a worrier. As he preached, I could tell he spoke from the heart and that his study of peace for his sermon helped him feel more at peace. As he preached he shared several peaceful statements that touched me: “Give our troubles to God and trust that He is big enough”, “We question if He really loves us – Is He a Good, Good Father”, “Trust is a hard thing, especially trusting God in unseen – God is faithful, we can be thankful”, “Give it up to better hands, leave it to God”, and “The peace that passes all understanding”. As I listened to his sermon I began thinking about all the things in my life that bring me worry, as there are many. But as I left the service, I began thinking about peace and what I need to bring peace to my life. Writing each morning brings me peace, at least for a moment each morning. But somehow, I need to expand on that. The key to having peace in our hearts comes from what Paul wrote when he was imprisoned, yes, while he was imprisoned. As we go through our day, we can find peace in celebrating God, “Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.” Is there any way to keep repeating those words throughout the day without feeling a sense of peace?
Prayer: God, thank you for pastors and musicians who bring messages each Sunday. We take for granted that speaking and planning worship is easy. Thank you for the time they spend preparing to speak to us and for the way they bring You to each one of us. God, we rejoice today – we “Rejoice in the Lord always and again we say Rejoice”. Today, God, bring peace to our hearts. Amen.