Apostle Paul understood trials and pain. He wrote that he had learned to be content in his current situation. He writes the above verses to teach us how to deal with difficult times.
His first instruction is to Rejoice in the Lord! No matter how difficult our personal circumstances, it is a blessing to have the Lord with us at all times. We can choose to rejoice in God’s ever present help in our time of need. Secondly, be gentle even in your struggles. Let the gentleness of Christ flow through you as you deal with others who may not understand your current sufferings. Thirdly, don’t be anxious–do not fret! Instead of worrying about what might happen or what has happened, pray about everything. Lay your fears, your failures, and your future at God’s feet. Fourth, begin to breathe prayers of thanksgiving (counting your blessings) throughout the day. You can even thank God for the little things–sunlight, water, electricity, etc. It is amazing how much we take for granted. If you have lost a loved one, remember the good times and thank God for every one of them. Thank God for each day, month or year you were given.
We should concentrate on our blessings and not our losses. Choose to change your thoughts much like you would change your television to another channel. Just click the button and begin to occupy your mind with Thanksgiving. Speak it out loud. Sing songs of praise and adoration to God; put on CDs that express thanksgiving to God. Open your shades and let the sunshine come into your home.
Paul continues with these words- Philippians 4:8-9 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. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Paul tells us in verses 7 and 9 what we will gain if we are willing to take our thoughts captive and turn them to thanksgiving and praise. Our reward is “Peace that transcends all understanding.” The peace of God will guard your heart and your mind and carry you through this holiday season. God is faithful to do what His Word promises if we are willing to follow His instructions. Ask God for the strength to be thankful for the little things. You will find peace even in your memories if you cover them with thankfulness
Dear God, Thank you for your faithfulness. Thank you for your guidance that points us toward victory over the difficult trials in our lives. Give us the courage to choose peace over fretting. Help us to be sensitive to the needs of others and give us wisdom on how we may comfort them.