“The best thing of all is God is with us.”
From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise. Practice these things: whatever you learned, received, heard, or saw in us. The God of peace will be with you.
When was the last time you were scared? I mean really scared?
Have you ever feared what others say about you? That you may not have enough? That someone might do a better job than you in athletics, academics, or extracurriculars? I have always struggled with these fears.
Fear makes our brains do crazy things. It causes us to become critical of others and ourselves; it causes us to suspect the worst; it causes us to label others as “good” or “bad” because it’s much easier to put people in boxes than to believe the best in their intentions.
Fear is part of being human. Paul urges the church at Philippi to think on things that bring life, joy, and peace to their hearts and minds. This doesn’t mean we’ll never fear, but it means that our fear won’t control our thoughts and actions. To me, it’s comforting to know that Jesus experienced fear but didn’t let it hinder his ministry on earth. What steps can you take to make sure fear doesn’t control you?
Molly Shoulta Tucker
Holy God, you know my heart and my thoughts.
Bring your presence close to me when I feel afraid.
Remind me of your goodness that surrounds me always.
Praise the Lord for grace and favor
to all people in distress;
praise God, still the same as ever,
slow to chide, and swift to bless.
Henry Lyte in “Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven,” 1834