Read: Philippians 4:4-7
Post Malone, one of American’s top rap artists, is naturally seen as someone who has it all. He has fame, success, money, and everything that our culture thinks you need to be happy. As I watched him sing the chorus of his song, “Feeling Whitney,” these lyrics really got me thinking: “To each their own and find peace in knowing, ain’t always broken, but here’s to hoping. Show no emotion against your coding, just act as hard as you can. You don’t need a friend. Boy, you’re the man.” I started thinking about the pain every one of us goes through as humans, even the celebrities we idolize. We may think they’re living the dream, but even celebrities acknowledge their pain and genuine desire for peace and hope.
Our first verse from today’s passage, Philippians 4:4, says “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” This means that while life may bring hardships and trials, we should always rejoice because we always have reason to do so in the Lord as He is near to us, which is what our second verse tells us. “Let your gentleness be evident to all, the Lord is near.” God’s close presence to us should cause us to exude gentleness, which is part of His character. His presence should also cause us to cast our burdens on Him, as verse 6 says. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
So often we carry our own burdens and anxieties by ourselves today, but that is not what God wants for us. He knows we aren’t capable of doing this alone. He wants us to let Him bear our anxieties for Him, which will free us from worry and bring us peace instead. Verse 7 says, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” When we cast our cares on God and give Him control, He will graciously take control of our hearts and minds and fill them with his peace, which we can’t fully understand. It doesn’t make sense for us to have peace when life is presenting us with hardship, but His presence provides us with peace even in the midst of struggle.
Christ is the answer to all our heart’s searching. He is the answer to the many hurting people who don’t know the true source of peace. It is when we fail to realize this truth that we turn to the empty pleasures of this world, as many people and celebrities like Post Malone sadly do. We need to acknowledge that there is nothing in this world that can take away our pain and anxieties. Only Jesus can do this. It is when we turn to Him that we can experience His peace that “surpasses all understanding.”
Do you find joy in Christ? Do you see him as your peace and hope? Sometimes we mentally understand that Jesus is the source of true joy, but our hearts still find it hard to love Him for all that He is. Ask God to help you see Jesus as your true source of joy and ask Him to help your heart to rejoice in Him.