“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV)
God is always near to us, even in times when we don’t feel Him. He is there on our worst days, crying alongside us. He is also there celebrating with us in our best moments. The verses above tell us we should always rejoice in the Lord, even in our lowest moments. If we keep praising God even when things are bad, we are witnessing to others about God’s never-ending love and grace in our lives. We show everyone around us we have confidence that God is with us and will see us through even the worst of situations.
About three years ago, I went to the doctor for a routine checkup, and walked out with a diagnosis of possible cancer. I was 29 years old. It just couldn’t be possible. I was perfectly healthy, no pain, no symptoms, absolutely nothing that I could see was wrong with me! However, from the doctor’s reaction and the fact that she immediately sent me to another doctor for a scan, it was obvious she was worried. A week later I had major surgery to remove what doctors said was likely cancer in my lower abdomen. There I was, married for less than a year, and probably going in for a full hysterectomy, meaning I would never have children.
Through this, God reached down and took hold of me. I only cried once during that week of preparing for surgery and possible cancer treatments. Everybody else was frantic, but I wasn’t. I prayed constantly, telling God I knew He was in control of the outcome. I told Him I was sad to go through this, but if it brought glory to Him, I would endure it without complaining. When I got scared, I told Him, and He calmed my nerves. I remember sitting with my sister-in-law one night, and as she sobbed, I told her I knew it would be fine because I had faith that God would take care of me. She seemed amazed.
I came through the surgery with no problems and went home after only two days in the hospital. It was not cancer, and I came out as healthy as could be. I have been completely fine for three years now. I am certain God’s love and peace gave me the strength to go through that rough time in life. Other people saw God’s hope in me and were changed because of it.
I know God will be with me if ever I face another similar situations, just as He was with me through this. I also know He has been there through the many good times in my life, even when I’ve forgotten to thank Him during those times.
God wants us to look to Him for help. When this passage says, “do not be anxious about anything … by prayer … present your requests to God,” it is telling us God wants us to talk to Him about our feelings. If we are upset, worried or afraid, He wants us to come to Him. When we are happy, we should go to Him with our joy and excitement to thank Him.
No matter what our situation, He wants us to rejoice in Him because He is there for us. I’m living proof of this!
Dear God, today I want to give over to You all of my fear and worry about ____________________________(place in the blank whatever is bothering you today). I know that Your Word tells me to rejoice even when I am sad, but sometimes it is hard to do. Please help me to remember to always lift my worries up to You in prayer and to always thank You for your many blessings. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Teen Devotional Bible
Bridge Called Hope: Stories of Triumph from the Ranch of Rescued Dreams by Kim Meeder
Think About It:
How do I react when I’m in a painful situation?
Do I forget to thank God for the good times?
Begin today to speak your feelings to God. Be honest with Him and ask Him to strengthen you during the tough times.
Make a list of God’s blessings each week. Take time to thank Him.
Do you have a testimony to share of how God was with you through a tough time? Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about it! Your story could be just the encouragement someone else needs to hear.
Matthew 10:29-31, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don‘t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (NIV)
Romans 12:12, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” (NIV)
© 2010 by Autumn Sisk. All rights reserved.