7.31.15 "What does Paul mean by 'anything' and 'in every situation'?"

"This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."  Psalm 118:24 It's a brand new day!  Admittedly, it's the last day of the work week and the last day of a very hot month of July.  But it is still a brand new day!  Good for you for getting into God's word and taking the time to check in to see what God might be saying to you this Friday.  Before you read today's verses from the Scripture & Meditation Guide, please pray God would help you to focus and that He would speak to you through his Holy Word.  One of this week's PRAYfor100 text messages encouraged us to pray with diligence, fervor, constancy, perseverance, determination, and conviction.  If you don't feel those words describe your prayer life, maybe a good prayer would be that God would open up that kind of prayer for you today.

Philippians 4:6-8

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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.

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.

The first thing that struck me when I read these verses from Philippians was the phrase, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation…".  I thought, what does Paul mean by "anything" and "in every situation"?  I think it is so easy for me to try and put limits on those words.  I'm convinced the words "anything" and "every" include all the big stuff:  Anxiety and worry come in all sizes and circumstances, but God provides an opportunity to "take an exit toward Jesus!" Just considering the following statements, my own anxiety increases and fear springs up! I'm looking for a job and it's been tough, I was just at the doctor's office and was told I have cancer, my spouse and I have been having terrible arguments for what seems like a very long time, I'm feeling distant from God, etc.  You get the idea.  There are just some really big situations in our life that are way bigger than we are.  We need to go to God in those situations.

But then there are other situations that aren't on the same scale and don't seem as urgent, like: we need to purchase a new car, I think I might have said something that offended a co-worker, the lawnmower won't start, our daughter is dating someone we aren't crazy about, it always seems our money runs out before the month runs out, etc.  If you're like me, you're tempted to think…I've dealt with situations like these before, I know what to do, no need to bother God right now.

And then there are those situations that just seem downright puny, like: should I go shopping now or after dinner, do I buy the red dress or the blue one, black shoes or brown, do I take chemistry 1st semester or 2nd, which route should I take to get home, etc.  Again, I'm tempted to think there's no way God cares about that so I shouldn't even bother him.

Paul is saying that we should not be anxious about ANYTHING and that we should come to God in EVERY situation.  Christians should be the most relaxed, joy-filled people on earth.  Doesn't mean we don't care about what's going on around us.  Paul is talking about going through life in a meaningful and personal relationship with God, where we go to Him for everything - anytime, anywhere, about anything.

May He grant us that kind of day today!