Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 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 your minds in Christ Jesus.
You are saved by grace alone. That means salvation is a gift, won by Jesus when he died and rose again. Even the faith you need to believe this glorious message is something God freely gives. Salvation is secure because it is the work of Christ, and since it is his work, then it cannot fail. On this, the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, be sure to give thanks to God for that glorious truth. As the apostle Paul wrote: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
On this special day, as you thank God for salvation by grace, spend time reflecting on how your life has changed because of Jesus’ work. Don’t forget that Jesus has washed away your sin and guilt. As you look to him in faith, you can rejoice—just as Paul says—because the Lord is with you and heaven is your home. There’s no need to be sour, harsh, angry or anxious because you have a Savior who hears and answers all your prayers. And remember: the peace we have through faith in Christ is something no worldly woes can disturb.
But the devil will try. The old, evil foe seeks to obscure those Reformation blessings. “Worry!” he demands. “You should! Just look at all the horrible things happening in the world! And how about all the dreadful things you’ve experienced? Get angry! Get mad! Look at all the world’s wretchedness in the headlines! Abandon hope! Forget about joy!”
Take to heart Paul’s encouragement: “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8-9).
If you spend time focused on the ugly results of sin, the devil will get his way. So check your thoughts. Guard your heart. Set your mind on Christ and his salvation. As you do, you’ll discover new courage and peace, more reasons to rejoice and an extra measure of joy for the day.
Heavenly Father, help me to focus on Jesus this Reformation Day and fill my heart with the peace you alone can give. Amen.
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