4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Dear Lord Jesus, I have more than ample reasons to rejoice in you as this day begins (and continues). My life in hidden in yours, and your life in me is my hope of glory. You are my perfect righteousness and my constant Advocate, my sovereign Lord and loving Spouse.
5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Because of your relationship with me and who I am in you, I can risk being gentle in relationships in which I might otherwise feel the instinct to be rigid or the need to be in control. I’m not alone to fin for myself. You are so near—both in terms of proximity and your return. And by the way, I’ve never longed more for your return!
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
“Do not be anxious about anything“… Jesus, I’m so glad that everything you command you resource with sufficient grace, so I cast my cares on you and bring these anxieties to your throne of grace. With palms up, I give you the people I’d love to fix; the storylines I’d love to finish; the culture wars I’d love to win; the heartaches I’d love to heal; and the circumstances I’d love to alter.
7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Jesus, thank you for the promise of setting your peace as a garrison for my heart and mind. I gladly enter “Fort Peace.” Double bolt the door!
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Jesus, you are the truest, most noble, right, pure, lovely and praiseworthy reality I can think imagine, so I set my gaze and affection on you—O blessed author and perfecter of my faith. Take my thoughts to think with your mind; overflow my heart with your beauty and compassion; free my hands and feet to serve as your bidding. So very Amen I pray, in your tender and triumphant name.