“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
There he goes again—the ever-optimistic Paul! Rejoicing while in prison! How does he manage to do that?
Well, Dr. Snyder says that “he [Paul] was convinced that God was near him.” He goes on to say that “…the Lord is always near, just a breath away. We are supposed to rejoice because we can offer up our requests to a God who is very near us and because, even before we receive, we can experience the peace of God who shares with us the joy of his presence. So when we pray, we’re to pray without anxiety. Our Father knows what we need (and want) and will bring us our bread for today, even if our deepest heart’s desires and dreams are still a bit in the distance.”
TODAY’S PRAYER: Pray that God will show you in various ways how close to you he really is. Then ask the Spirit to grant the heavenly gift of joy just because God and his kingdom are very near.
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