4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
This is a very common passage. Reading it today, even I read over it quickly, knowing what it was saying. But, do we really know what it is saying?
Verse 4 has always been engrained in my mind since childhood. We learned a song from it and I’ve always remembered it. Now I know where to find it in the bible as well. What does it mean to let our gentle spirit be known to all men? It is accented for a reason. I believe it is because our human spirit is not gentle. It is selfish, rude, angry, and sinful. The spirit here Paul is talking about is that of Christ that lives in us. Let us not withhold that from the world! Our free will gives us the choice of “keeping” it to ourselves or sharing it. We can’t be the light of the world if we keep a lamp shade on, can we? By sharing this we tell the world: the Lord is near. So how do we go about removing that lamp shade?
Be anxious for nothing. You see, when we are anxious, we clam up, hunker down, don’t let anything in our out. Anxiety is another word for fear. It is fear that hinders our relationship with Christ and the rest of the world. In anxiety, we stop the flow of God’s grace through us. So how do we free ourselves of this fear and anxiety? In prayer. Prayer is communication to God. He knows your thoughts and feelings, but He wants us to freely give them up to Him by telling Him. It proves we trust Him. You don’t tell anyone your problems if you don’t trust them, do you? Supplication means: 1. To ask for humbly or earnestly, as by praying. 2. To make a humble entreaty to; beseech.v.intr.To make a humble, earnest petition; beg. In other words, ask Him. And He wants us to do it with thanksgiving. Thankful for what…that we have to rely on Him? Absolutely. If we rely on ourselves how far does that get us? It never got me very far. We should be thankful that we CAN rely on Him because we are nothing.
This is why we get to rejoice. Because despite our shortcomings, our failures, our fears, He is always there for us! ALWAYS!!! Is there anybody else that you know is that reliable, trustworthy, and faithful? No. This is part of our hope in Christ. That He will never forsake us and as we continue building our relationship with Him, He will set us free, comfort us, and give us His peace. In this, we can light the world.