Sometimes when I’m trying to encourage someone, a certain Bible verse will spring to mind that I assume is intended for them, but later I realize that it’s exactly what I needed to hear as well. This happened this week.
Yesterday I was thinking of and praying for a friend who was dealing with a pretty stressful legal matter. Philippians 4:6-7 immediately sprang to mind:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (NASB)
[Sidenote: Although the New Living Translation is my current Bible translation of choice, I grew up on the New American Standard, so it’s common for the verses to come to mind old-school instead of a more modern translation.]
I also like how The Message phrases it:
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”
As I said, while I was able to use these verses to encourage my friend, that wasn’t the end of their usefulness for the week. Today was one of those days at work where my to-do list seemed to grow by the hour, and on the ride home, as I thought about all that needed to get done that didn’t get done today and all that needs to get done tomorrow and the rest of the week and the rest of the month, I started to get a little stressed out. Okay, more than a little.
And then Philippians 4:6-7 popped into my head yet again. This time, those verses were for me. This evening, I needed to be reminded to not let my worries pile up to be fretted over and chewed upon and digested, but rather to turn them over to the One who’s fully in control.
Maybe someone else needs these verses today, too. Maybe it’s you. Or someone you know. At any rate, I’m thankful that God never fails to give me exactly what I need, just when I need, and that He often prompts me to pass it along to others who need it, too.