Philippians 4:4-7—”Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus.”
Going through trials is not uncommon because it happens in every person’s life. If we submit to God during this time in our life, they can lead us to depend on God and deeply trust in His sovereignty. Especially during these times, you will arrive at crossroads and may have to make a choice. But through it all, the bigger choice we make is to sulk with self pity or to praise and thank God. No, it is not that we are saying praise you God and thank you for the problem because we deserve it. Our God is a merciful and gracious God. Our thanks is to God for His walk with us through the trails, for His looking out for us during this time, and for knowing our timelines and bringing us through this for our greater good. And when we think of these things, the next thing that will happen automatically is praise from our lips. We truly understand the magnanimity and sovereignty of our God because we experience it when we praise and thank at these times.
Yes, we may not understand it. But remember God’s ways are bigger than our ways, God’s thoughts are bigger than our thoughts. So we may not be able to understand them and due to our smaller ways of understanding, God may not be able to explain it to our little minds now, so we must accept that God’s understanding is enough for the both of us. Through the doubts, thank and praise; through the hurt, thank and praise; even through the anger.
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. (Acts 16:25)
Paul and Silas were wrongfully accused of public disruption. They were beaten badly and were taken to the inner cell of the prison (for the most dangerous offenders).
They had every reason to sit and sulk because of the injustice meted out to them. Yet, Paul and Silas with their open wounds chose to trust in God’s plan and praise their Lord, Jesus Christ. They glorified the name of God. About midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang hymns to God, and the other prisoners listened to them (Acts 16: 23-25).
Then God shook the earth and the prison foundations and broke the chains of the prisoners. The jailor got scared he would be blamed for this and he tried to kill himself but Paul stopped him. He and Silas stood in these circumstances and spoke and sang with confidence in their God. The result: several people, including the jailer and his family, came to believe in Jesus.
When we praise the Lord through and in spite of what we face:
– our praise becomes our deliverance through the trial
– our broken world will see the power of our God
– our choice is to trust God and His plan for our lives.
– our neighbours, friends, well wishers and even others may feel the grace, that we have for the circumstance, extend to them and in turn they may be saved.
When we rejoice in the Lord, without any worry, but with thanks and prayers, we have a promise of peace from God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus(Philippians 4:7).