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The Journal

Rejoicing

Rejoicing Dear Friends, Paul gives us some very good reasons why we can rejoice. We are not alone because the Lord is near and this means that He is interested in us and he cares about us and He wants to help. Paul also teaches us that because the Lord is near we can be gentle. It is easy when we think that everything depends on us to boss people around or be pushy. Paul is teaching us that we can be gentle because the Lord is near and He helps us and we are given the privilege of casting our burdens on the Lord. We don’t have to carry them ourselves. Notice that the invitation comes with an expectation of giving thanks which means that we trust that God is good and we begin to already see the benefits He provides for us - not least of these is forgiveness of sins and friendship with God and the gift of His church and people. The giving of our burdens to God leads to 2 benefits. One of these is that as we let go of trying to keep control over our problems and hand them over to the Lord and we will find His peace come upon us. Notice that this peace transcends all understand. It is not about manipulating the mind or just the power of positive thinking but a tangible experience of God’s presence touching us personally. We do however still have a responsibility to exercise quality control over our minds. God’s peace is a gift which God gives and this also leads us to ensure that we think about what is pure and good. Conversely if we fill our minds with fear or untruths then it becomes a breeding ground for anxiety ! God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara

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