In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he encouraged them to rejoice in the Lord at all times. Is it humanly possible to always be joyful and find a reason to rejoice? What about those times when we are hurting or going through trials and difficulties? Paul went on to say that we do not need to be anxious about anything. His encouragement was to pray about everything with supplication and thanksgiving. Why do we pray about everything with thanksgiving? So that the peace of God, which is not possible to explain with human logic, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:4-7).
Peace is our ultimate pursuit which gives us confidence that God is with us. If we have peace with God then we have peace with ourselves and with everyone else. When we have peace then there is no reason why we cannot rejoice and be joyful in God. We can rejoice when we have surrendered our worries and cares to God because we know that he cares for us. For example, if you take your car to the garage, you are no longer worried about the car because you trust that it is in capable hands. You also know that the mechanics are trained to take care of it and to fix the fault with the car. Similarly, if we have approached God in prayer concerning a problem, we can rest assured that our problems are in capable hands and he will fix it for us.
“The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands” (Psalms 138:8). If we are being honest, we have to admit that we sometimes place a lot more faith in the things that we can see with our physical eyes, than we do in God. This is why faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of the things which we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1). There are some areas of our lives that are easier for us to trust God with than others. Those areas where we lack faith are the areas that we most need to surrender. Oftentimes this relates to areas where we have experienced hurt or a deficit and it makes it harder to trust God.
Let us not miss out on the peace which is available when we fully surrender. Every new day that we live to see, brings a reason to rejoice. Gratitude is a powerful human emotion and a great antidote for stress. It is impossible to remain overwhelmed and burdened by our trials when we sing praises and rejoice in the Lord. “For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy” (Psalm 92:4).