January 13, 2024

By Becky Knight, Pacific Conference

Scripture meditation: Philippians 4:4-7

One of my morning rituals is to turn on the news so I can keep up on what is going on in the world. However, recently I’ve been questioning whether this is a good practice or not. As images of wars and atrocities fill my thoughts, it is easy to lose sight of the real power we have as believers in Christ Jesus our Lord! As I listen to the reports, I find my spirit becoming increasingly anxious, and before I know it, I am robbed of the peace I am promised in God.

Philippians 4:4-5 tells us to “Rejoice in the Lord always…” When are we supposed to rejoice? Only when we have a good reason? No. We are to rejoice always. Rejoicing is a call to joy and joy is not based on our circumstances or on our feelings. It is an attitude that we adopt because of the hope we have in the Lord Jesus Christ. When we choose to rejoice, we are promised that “the Lord is near,” and we become more acutely aware of his presence.

How do we do this practically? The key is in the next verses. Phil. 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God … will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

It is so easy to say not to be anxious about anything, but so hard to do. Paul was writing these words from a prison cell to the church at Philippi that was being persecuted for relying on God. He himself had been beaten close to death for his own faith. If anyone had reason to lose hope and feel abandoned, it was Paul. Yet, he gave thanks because even in prison he saw the opportunity to touch people he otherwise would not be able to reach.

The part of this verse that speaks to me as I consider the news today is the “thanksgiving” part. When we reorient our time with the Lord to remember God’s past faithfulness to us, it changes our perspective. We serve a God who always shows up for us. The world offers us anxiety, but Jesus offers us peace. He doesn’t say all will be well or that circumstances will change, but he promises himself. I can’t think of a better partner in this world, can you?

Today I am reminded that the source of my strength is Jesus, and that I will find strength as I rejoice in his presence. And maybe, it would help if I turned off the TV too.


Father God, thank you for your faithfulness in all my life’s circumstances. Help me to rely on you so when trouble comes, I know you are near and that I can count on your peace. Amen.