“In All Circumstances”

On September 30, Pastor Jim preaches on Philippians 4:6-7.

4:6 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.

When I was a child I was sent to Sunday School, which included “Assembly.” All of us were “assembled” for 10 minutes or so before going to our various classes. It’s an old model of doing church that has pretty much disappeared, though I still think it has merit. Attendance was taken, announcements were made, and songs were sung.

“Deep and wide, deep and wide, there’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.”

I never understood the song. In fact, I misunderstood the lyrics and sang, “there’s a fountain BLOWING deep and wide.” Oh no! Someone blew up the fountain!

We sang, “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart. (Where?) Down in my heart. (Where?) Down in my heart.  (Where?) Down in my heart to stay!” It captured the New Testament message that joy is the mark of the Christian.

I believe this. Jesus told his disciples, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”

As I have returned from sabbatical, I’ve been surprised by the joy and gratitude that I’ve found. Actually, joy has found me. 🙂

And yet, let’s face it: Life isn’t a cake walk. To borrow an expression, “Life is not for sissies.”

Heartache and trouble are part of the package.

This Sunday we will continue thinking about gratitude. And we will consider the seemingly impossible call of the Apostle Paul to “not be anxious about anything.”

Anything…really? Is this even possible?