Again, I Say…
By Daniel Barkley
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.
Do you ever feel anxious?
Yeah, I know, that’s a dumb question. Of course, you have felt anxious before. There’s probably a myriad of reasons you can point to as well. Now, think of someone who you are at odds with. Think of someone you have disagreed with, argued with, or even feel feelings of hatred towards.
That person… they feel anxious too.
Maybe you need to hear this. I know I needed to hear this. I still need to hear this. The Church at Philippi needed to hear this. The Gospel of Jesus is the gospel of unity. It binds us together. It strengthens us against the advances of darkness and evil towards the kingdom of God. It takes people, who are imperfect and needy, and bids them to come and die and find all they need.
Peace is the goal. Peace with God and man. Paul gives us the formula for defeating anxiety and worry, living in joyful unity with one another, and rejoicing in the peace of God.
Let me break this passage down in two ways:
1. We rejoice because God is near to us (4:4-5).
2.God conquers anxiety that causes disunity through petition, with thanksgiving, which invites God’s all-surpassing peace (4:6-7).
What would happen if we all remembered the cause of discord and quarreling with each other? You feel anxious. I feel anxious. Anxiety is the problem… and the answer will only ever be the gospel.
So set your face against the night and raise your broken voice. Rejoice.
Jesus, give me grace to see my anxiety for what it is, to lay it down at your feet and find the peace that only you can bring… for my own soul and the souls of my brothers and sisters in the faith. Lord, have mercy.