Paul is ending with a little encouragement and light redirection. The key point in his exhortation is to be at peace in God, with one another and within one’s self.
When Paul is addressing these two spiritual sisters, Euodia and Syntyche, he tells them “to agree in the Lord” (verse 2). I take it for some reason these two ladies were at loggerheads over something. He didn’t tell them they had to agree about everything but as it pertains to the Lord and His work, he instructed them to come together. They were both helpers to him and had worked alongside him for the gospel. Paul was also certain they were true believers as he said their names were in the book of life. But for some reason they didn’t get along with one another.
“Let your reasonableness be known to everyone” (verse 5). “Do not be anxious about anything, but with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made to God” (verse 6).
Boy do I need this myself now! I have three issues this corresponds to going on in my life. The first is that our home was just in the middle or renovations again. I had a hard time not being anxious. I felt like I outwardly bending over backwards being “reasonable” but inside I was so stressed! I wanted things to move quicker, or at least at the speed of what was promised. There were a couple things left undone because of “running out of time” that I have to simply let go of.
My second issue is trying to get my husband’s dental care arranged. This has been in process since last November and we were told yesterday, after seeing the dentist, that they will call me “in 2 or 3 weeks” to schedule the next step. I’m SO tired of the process and want it to hurry up.
My last issue isn’t for myself. It is for my son-in-law. I’m helping him with his math class. I’m giving it my all and trying to help him understand and remember the math concepts. He has memory issues and is so unsure of himself that he doubts his every move. I don’t know what more I can do to help him retain the information. I have also tried withdrawing as much of my support as possible so he is doing the problems without me leading him to the solution. He needs MUCH prayer in this process. PLEASE join me in praying for him!
I know I need to work on patience and God is once again giving me “practice time” through each of these issues. I really wish He would stop giving me lessons. They are NOT fun.
I wonder what kind of situation our two women were facing that was straining their relationship. Were they working on “patience practice time” or some other relationship area? Were they being persecuted for their faith like Paul was?
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, fi there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (verse 8).
So I need to turn my thinking around from “problem” to “praise.” I praise God that my home is now resided and looks great. Yes, there are still some small jobs to do but they will be accomplished in due time. My husband is on the last step before receiving treatment for his dental issues. My son-in-law is trying his very best in a challenging area and moving forward in spite of his difficulties. I am providing loving support wherever I can to all those in need that I encounter. And more than ANYTHING else, my Father loves me unconditionally, even when I am anxious. “Practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you” (verse 9b). Praise God I’m getting to “practice these things!”
Thank You Father for changing my thinking tonight. I started this study at the beginning of the house remodel and didn’t finish it because of all that was going on. I also didn’t see the “problem to praise” reminder until we were working on this together today, over a week later. Maybe I needed that practice time for patience to actually see these instructions better. Thank You also for taking my eyes of my own problems and letting me see the needs of others and how I can sow Your love into them.
Help me know how to pray for Kaden. I want success for him so badly but I’m not seeing it manifesting so far. Forgive me for being anxious in this area. I know I have to leave it in Your hands, but I’m so afraid to. PLEASE show him what to do if he can’t make it through this one. THANK YOU for just reminding me of the requirements! He doesn’t have to make it through this for what he is pursuing right now! Please help him anyway though Lord. This means a lot to him.