I feel like I cannot write a summary of Philippians chapter 4 without first highlighting two of the most notable verses in this book, which are Philippians 4:6-7 “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Aside from the verses above, which I feel like I could meditate on day in and day out, the verse that stood out to me in this chapter was Philippians 4:12 “I know how to be brought low, I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.”
Paul is wrapping up his letter to the church of Philippi, a letter in which he boldly illustrates his faith and justifies it through his own life and circumstances. He speaks so lovingly to the Philippians as if they are his own family, and they are his family through the unifying blood of Christ Jesus.
I have found this letter to be an inspiration to my own faith and it has challenged me to give my whole life to Christ, not just the areas I feel comfortable letting go of. I am faced with a lot of anxiety, and reading verse 6 above is a reminder that there is no need to carry this feeling of anxiety in my life. The peace of God is incredible, but cannot be felt in a life that is crowded with fear and worry. I for one have not been able to experience the complete peace of God because I am still working on letting go of emotions that I seem to be clenching rather than releasing them for God to hold. The feeling that I need to be in control when I know deep down that I have control of nothing and it is God who holds the future.
I particularly love verse 12 because of Paul’s language here and the picture he paints. He is truly living his life by the strength of Christ, and in every moment gives credit to the Lord. No matter what situation Paul is faced with, he praises God and exudes confidence because he knows that God’s strength is with him. I need all of that. In some moments I’m like, ok God I need you now, and then the next moment I’m like ok God I can do this by myself. When Paul says “in any and every circumstance”, I say, yes Paul, that is exactly what I need to work on in deepening my faith. God is omnipresent, He is always there. He knows the deepest ugliest parts of you and loves you still. Thank you Jesus for loving me even when I push you away and try to keep you in my back pocket rather than placing my entire life in the palm of your hands. You are the strength I need to get through this life, and I pray that I would challenge myself every day with surrendering my life to you.