Focal passage: Philippians 4:1-9
There’s a children’s book called Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day written by Judith Viorst. In it, everything throughout Alexander’s day that could go wrong, did go wrong. He didn’t find the prize in the cereal box. He had woes with his friends at school. He got in trouble with his teacher. On and on the undesirable became true for Alexander.
Many of us can resonate with the young man who just could not catch a break. How should we respond when our lives feel like chaos? More often than we care to admit, we feel overwhelmed in our day to day lives, fumbling through difficulties and unwanted circumstances.
The Phillipian church was battling conflict from within and pressures from without. They needed to be reminded from where their peace came. Paul directed them once again to the God who is always at hand. He encouraged them to have peace with one another as this would lead to peace in the church as a whole. He also encouraged them to take their worries and anxieties to God in prayer, assuring them that His peace would guard them.
Knowing that God is near and that He wants us to have His peace helps us to live lives full of joy. God has not asked us to bear our burdens alone. He has given us the body of believers, and He has also given us Himself. Instead of worrying about what is going on around us, we can simply pray. As we pray, we can offer thanks to God for His unchanging character and His promise to be near to us.
Even when we feel as if our circumstances are out of control, we can rejoice in the Lord! The peace that He gives us helps us to be gracious toward others and to have joy and rest in the midst of uncertainty and hardship.