“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 your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NIV
Rest for our souls is a gift from God. But it is not automatic. First of all, we are commanded not to be anxious about anything. This means anxiety is also a choice. We can choose not to be anxious and the grace of God will start working in our hearts through faith. Our feelings must not rule our hearts. Instead, through faith, we should be able to rule our feelings based on God’s word.
Next, as the Lord commands, we should pray. When? In every and any situation where anxiety might prevail. We could think of so many instances in our lives when anxiety comes up so easily. But God’s word says, pray. Don’t be anxious; just pray. How? With thanksgiving. That’s how we pray by faith. We already assume that God hears us, and yes He does. There’s no doubt about it. That’s why it is commanded.
The result is a promise, not another command. The peace of God, which is not created by us, since it passes all understanding, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. It will be a gift of God’s grace through Christ Jesus who dwells in our hearts by faith.
So rest does not come to us automatically. It comes as a gift when we exercise faith in His word. We choose not to be anxious, and we choose to pray. We turn away from self-induced worry and we choose to trust God’s faithfulness in every situation. That’s how Sabbath rest becomes real in our lives. Shalom! (PB)