Today's chunk of scripture came at just the right time for me. Let's read Philippians 4:1-7
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord. I love you and long to see you, dear friends, for you are my joy and the crown I receive for my work. Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement. And I ask you, my true partner,to help these two women, for they worked hard with me in telling others the Good News. They worked along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are written in the Book of Life.
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
I love this passage. A good majority of the Bible has stories about men. While there are great things to learn from the amazing stories of men in the bible, sometime us women just need to a good woman story. And this one hits right to the heart.
At the beginning of this passage Paul is talking about a feud going on between two church members. Two women, to be exact. Don't think I'm pointing fingers because I know all too well what it's like to have issues with other women (believing women at that), but sometimes we need a good reminder to settle our issues. Paul doesn't tell these women to work through their problems just because he's tired of their whining, but he wants them to work through their issues because they belong to the Lord. Their disagreement doesn't just affect them, it's affects the whole church. In the MacArthur Study Bible, John MacArthur said this in his commentary of these verses, "Apparently the disunity in the Philippian church was about to destroy the integrity of its testimony." Looking in on my own life, I know that there have been issues with Christian women that I've let go without settling. These situations might not have destroyed the integrity of my testimony, but they certainly didn't build my testimony up.
Let's work out our issues, sister. We've got a mission for Christ to accomplish and we need each other to do it. Let's not tear each other down.
The second part of this passage really encouraged me where I am in my life right now. I'm in the middle of a transition from my college town back home until I get married in March, and it has certainly been a struggle. My heart is hurting to leave the town and friends I've made the past three years and anxiety creeps up on me when I think about all the unknown things to come.
But, the Lord has called me to have joy! While it may take some time for me to have happiness over the situation, I can most certainly have joy. Joy isn't based on my circumstance, it is based on Jesus. Next Paul says something that hits right at my heart. Don't worry, just pray. This gal has done a whole lot of worrying, if you wanted to know the truth. When I'm tempted to worry about how I'm going to make it without my best gals in my town, I'll pray. When I'm tempted to fret about how I'm going to like going to a new college campus, I'll pray. When I'm tempted to fear that my bank account will finally run dry, I'll pray. What can worrying bring? Fear, anxiety, nervousness, unhappiness. What can prayer bring? Peace. His peace will guard our hearts and minds as we live in Christ Jesus.
Lord, this passage is so full. I know you had me read and reflect on this just for my benefit, but I pray that someone else gets the benefit too. I'm so thankful that your Word is alive. It will never get boring and I can never stop learning. Thank you for being faithful. I pray that we would be convicted in situations where we need to make amends with someone. It hurts my heart to know that I could hurt the integrity of my testimony by fighting with one of my own sisters. Bring restoration, Lord. Move in our hearts. Jesus, I also pray that we would chose prayer over worrying. The peace that comes from being in your presence and trusting in you will exceed anything we can understand. Encourage us and challenge us with your word, Lord. Amen.