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Weekly Devotionals

Humble Joy

Philippians 4:4-9 (NIV)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.8 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.

I love information. As a kid, I remember feeling a sense of excitement and joy when I was able to find out about how things worked and how to fix things. Being able to get more information made the world and even people less intimidating. I thought that information was going to allow me to accomplish anything and make life fun. The more knowledge I gained, I felt a sense of control and therefore even safety.

But ironically, after going through my teenage years as well as my twenties feeling like I knew quite a lot, I found myself entering my thirties feeling as though the very thing that helped me feel safe – information – now made me fearful and anxious. I now knew too much! There were larger world problems that I didn’t have the power to fix and the things I cared about the most were things that could not be controlled!

Even in my hunger to learn more about God, I found myself trying to be “right about Him” instead of understanding His character. I was trying to be knowledgeable instead of pursuing a deeper relationship with Him. God was not a person to master but my need to control things with knowledge often left me stuck and still anxious. It was only through humble prayers that I could hear God’s correcting. God was God and I was His creation, not the other way around and so I was never going to fully know everything. I learned that safety came from realizing that I was fully known by God. Furthermore, He revealed to us through is many interventions that He loves us deeply and cares for each and every one of his creation.

When I embraced this truth, I began to love the place of humility and enjoy my dependency on God. God was going to walk with me and guide me, even though my knowledge was limited and flawed. As the passage above encourages us to do, I now bring my needs to God in prayer and focus my thoughts on the things I should be thankful for rather than worry and each time this truly transforms my perspective and settles my anxious spirit.

If there is anything you are worried about or if you find yourself lacking joy, I encourage you to also take the advice given to the Philippans, trusting that God’s peace that transcends our understanding will guard your heart and bring you joy.

Have a wonderful week!