Philippians 4:6-8, Psalm 46:1, Hebrews 11:6

Valerie Elliot considers how to finish the year well, with reflections on Philippians 4:6-8.

Valerie Elliot
Valerie Elliot

It's November! Already the 11th month of the year! This year seems to have gone by so quickly. As the year draws to an end, we could easily find ourselves either reflecting on what we have achieved so far, or push harder to accomplish all that we planned to at the beginning of the year. The pressure starts to mount and many start to feel depressed and stressed.

At times like this, I like to turn my focus to some of my favourite verses in the Bible.

'Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God's peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].' (Philippians 4:6-8)

Here is how I apply these powerful words in my life:

Philippians 4:6 - Fear, panic, anxiety, disappointment, sadness, shame, excitement, determination, accomplishment, jealousy, fulfilment or satisfaction, are just some of the emotions that could arise in our hearts as we reflect on 2017 so far. The above verse instructs us not to give in to the negative and disempowering feelings, no matter what our reality looks like. Our God is a very present help in time of need. (Psalm 46:1) Remember who your heavenly Father is. Thank Him for who He is, because without His faithful and consistent nature we would not have hope in our circumstances. This is why we pray with thanksgiving. Our gratitude expressed in our prayers releases a beautiful fragrance of faith and honour unto the Lord. For without faith, it is impossible to please God! (Hebrews 11:6) I call this a DO verse. Put action to it!

Philippians 4:7 - Doing verse 7 awakens hope in our hearts. The God who has done it before can do it again! Hope awakened and faith released bring peace of mind. You have nothing to worry about. Peace is to be received, simply receive it. I call this a BE verse. Be at peace!

Philippians 4:8 - This verse is another DO verse. Christ has given us His peace that remains. We know this, but it is not always our reality. This verse gives us the key to maintaining our peace, joy and keeping our faith steadfast. You may not be able to control the thoughts that come into your mind, but you can choose what you think about. Choose the thoughts that would help to keep your joy and peace. Choose the thoughts that help to strengthen your faith. Choose the thoughts that give you hope and encourage you to carry on. Choose the thoughts that reveal God's heart concerning what you have prayed about. Choose to be in agreement with God!

There are still a few weeks left in 2017, choose to enjoy them and know that God is not limited by a calendar, your dreams are secure in Him! CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.