Rejoice in the Lord, always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 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 minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.
You don’t fight fear and anxiety by not focusing on the bad things, but by focusing on the good and beautiful things; not by reciting our woes, but by rejoicing in God’s goodness and blessing. I think that’s why Paul starts this section of Philippians (4:4-9) with the word rejoice. He is trying to remind us that the battle against fear and anxiety is won or lost by what lenses we choose to look at life through. Do we look at life through the lenses of fear and anxiety, or do we look at life through the lenses of joy and gratitude.
And remember, Paul is writing this from prison. He could easily be overwhelmed by sorrow and sadness and despair, but he’s not. Instead, he is choosing to “Rejoice!” And so can we.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent and praiseworthy—think about such things. And the God of peace will be with you. Amen.