Today’s Scripture Selection: Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

I know.  It’s easier said than done, especially the part about “in every situation.”

But I know it to be 100% true.

That’s why I turn to this passage from Paul’s letter to the Philippians for my first post about Scriptures that bring healing and wholeness.

I suppose all people, in all times, have thought they lived in the most difficult of times.  War, famine, corruption, disease, hatred, greed, the list goes on and on.  The world can be a very dark place.

And, even when we live in relatively stable circumstances, the darkness of anxiety – born of fear – creeps steadily into our waking, and even sleeping, moments.  It’s the stuff of which nightmares are made.

But God has the answer.  God always has had the answer.

“In every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

And eventually – peace can come.

There are times when it can only come when we are assisted along the way in finding it.  And, sadly, some never do seem to find the inner peace and wholeness that they need – at least not this side of heaven.

But I still believe the Scripture – and the promise – to be trustworthy.

So dare to believe it.  Dare to live with it at the center of your lives.

Pray, ask, seek, trust – and as much as you can – give over your anxiety to God.  And soon, by God’s grace, I pray peace will come.

Prayer: Lord, I lift up to you all those who are hurting, wherever they are, for whatever reason.  Lord, have mercy.

And may your peace come.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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