Unexpected Peace (Oct 3)

Quote from Open Up Your Heart by Jeff Syverson

Quote from Open Up Your Heart by Jeff Syverson

October 3
Unexpected Peace

Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 108:1-5 | Jeremiah 1:1-2:30 | Philippians 4:1-23 | Proverbs 24:17-20

Today’s Scripture Focus: Philippians 4

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. (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV)

“The misfortunes hardest to bear are those which never happen.” –James Russell Lowell–

We all have times when we are tempted to worry. Yet, worry is counterproductive. It consumes our attention; it saps our energy and creativity; it takes away our peace, our hope, our joy. Paul suggests an alternative to worry: prayer.

Instead of anxiety and worry, we are encouraged to pray– to bring our concerns to the Lord. In prayer, we open our hearts to God and share our deepest concerns. In petition, we lay our requests. With thanksgiving, we recount the ways God has already been faithful.

Somehow as we pour out our hearts and lay out our needs before the Lord –as we recount his blessings and faithfulness–our perspective begins to change. Where there was hopelessness, God births hope; unexpected joy begins to bubble to the surface; anxiety begins to give way to peace.

The peace that comes in times like these transcends our understanding–humanly speaking, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Yet as we release our doubts and concerns in prayer, and as thanksgiving reassures us to trust, peace, unexpected peace, is freed to calm our anxious spirits. That peace, guards our hearts and our minds.

Don’t waste your time and energy with worry. Take it to the Lord in prayer. Open up your heart; pour out concerns. Allow God to replace your anxious thoughts with peace, with joy, with hope.

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About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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