"Rejoice in the Lord always...Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything..."
Not long ago I noticed something in today’s verse. Right between “Rejoice in the Lord always” and “Do not be anxious about anything” are two phrases that at first seem out of place: “Let your gentleness be evident to all” and “The Lord is near.” Almost immediately, I was convicted of a sinful tendency of mine. When I am anxious, I forget that the Lord is near, and the result in me is lack of joy – followed closely by lack of gentleness and grace. My family and close friends steer clear when they see my anxiety rise!
Galatians 5:22-23 describes the fruit of the Spirit – including joy and gentleness. As a believer in Christ, I have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit. But when I am anxious, I am lacking His fruit and am not walking by the Spirit. I’m walking by sight and fear. The antidote to anxiety is prayer (communing with God in faith with thanksgiving), exchanging those anxious thoughts with petition and praise to our gracious heavenly Father. When anxiety creeps in, will you join me praying with thanks to God?
Because the Lord Jesus is near, I have no need to be anxious about anything. And I can rejoice in him - always!