“Whatever is” and “If there is any”
Do not worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable — if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise — dwell on these things. Philippians 4:6-8
Grace and peace to you fellow sojourners! If you notice from the opening line of this verse it says, do not. It is an imperative and not to be taken as trivial. As any parent tells a child, “Do not __________,” it is meant to be listened to, adhered to, and remembered. It is not the start of a negotiation, it is a command to be followed. The same goes for this statement. It continues with, and let your request be made known to God. When we stop worrying, and instead pray and petition God with thanksgiving, the peace of God will guard our heart and mind through the power of Jesus Christ. Amen.
So what are we to do while waiting on the peace of God to surpass our every thought? We dwell on the “whatever is” and the “if there is any.” Not only is this an act of faith and obedience, but it paves the way for a solid foundation of thankfulness, which is the command we are given as we pray and submit our petitions before God.
Worry envelops our thinking to such an extent that it becomes a hindrance to faith. Choosing fear over trust indicates we have elevated our concerns to a choking position of power, and it controls our thinking, emotions, and behaviors.
When we become distressed regarding circumstances or people, nervousness and uneasiness typically creep into our soul due to the uncertainty of the situation. In other words, we want the outcome to work in our favor, but when there appear to be obstacles that could swing the result out of our favor, it causes agitation, angst, nervousness, concern, fear, and tension to arise within us. Perhaps you have experienced this in your life. Begin practicing now as you recall current conflict in your life and identify, confirm, and dwell on the “whatever is” and the “if there is any.”
When anxious thoughts threaten to weary you with their burden, direct your thankful heart to the Lord and bring your worship and request straight to Him. Joyfully thank God for the “whatever is” and the “if there is any.” Even if the only thing you can identify right now is a tiny “whatever is” that hardly seems worth mentioning….mention it to God with thanksgiving. When you do this, you will receive a peace you never knew was possible. If we dwell on this and even encourage ourselves to identify more, God will equip us with His peace which has the power to rise above every petty concern our human thoughts can concoct, and His peace will protect our entire mind and heart. Stunning.
We do not need to withhold any part of our intellect and separate it from Him for worldly endeavors. Nor do we need to retain a portion because we believe He couldn’t possibly understand the depth of our emotions and the history surrounding them. We are deceived if we muse the only choice we have is to maintain our mind and heart ourselves. Help me Lord to trust You with my entire mind and every one of my musings. I welcome your peace as I pray, and as I identify, confirm, and dwell on the “whatever is” and “if there is any.”
In His grace,