Friday, March 18, 2011


This is my final posting on the topic of JOY from the book of Philippians. In Philippians 4:6-7 we have seen our need to REJOICE; our need to RESPOND; and our need to RESTRUCTURE if we are going to live joyful lives during those times when being in ministry really hurts. We saw that this restructuring involves two elements. We already saw our need to turn our anxiety into PRAYER. Finally, we see our need to turn our anxiety into PEACE.

Paul tells us that when we truly turn our WORRY list into our PRAYER list, as we saw in the last couple of postings, that the result will be PEACE. This peace comes from God and totally transcends our mental ability to grasp it or to understand it.

And what does this peace from God do? The passage says that it "GUARDS" our "HEARTS" and our "MINDS!" The word "guard" here is a military word describing a garrison of soldiers on duty (see 2 Corinthians 11:32). The duty of these soldiers were to guard something at all costs.

What does the peace of God guard in our lives when we go through hurtful and even harmful times in our ministry? It guards our "HEARTS" and it guards our "MINDS!" Our "HEART" speaks of our feelings. Our "MIND" speaks of our thinking. This is important because wrong thinking and wrong feelings will cause great damage in our lives.

These are the two areas that I believe the evil one attacks when we go through hardships in our ministries, especially when those hardships are exhibited through personal attacks. Satan attacks our feelings and he attacks our thinking. And when we respond and make decisions based on wrong thinking and/or wrong feelings, we will end up shipwrecked in ministry.

But when we restructure our lives in such a way that we turn our WORRY list into our PRAYER list, the peace of God guards how we think and how we feel! Then, and only then, can we experience a life of joy even during the most difficult times of our lives and ministries!

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