Have you ever had deja vu? You immediately know you’ve heard those words before… but where?

That happened to me when I stumbled upon this page:

It’s from Philippians 4:4-9, in the New Testament.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 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 or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 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.”

As I was reading this, I vividly remember two separate times in my recent life where someone was praying with me, for me actually, and said these exact words.

There is such joy in Paul’s message, even though he wrote it from prison. And the wisdom. Wow. It transcends 2000 years and smacks us in the face with words to live by right here in our modern, technologically-driven, chaotic world.

But it’s hard to live by words you don’t know. That’s why these two little powerful paragraphs are going to be my mission for the next six weeks. I have to break them into tiny verse-by-verse pieces or my brain will revolt. Ever feel that way?

I hope you’ll join me.

I’m excited about committing these to memory so we will have them, to use as a guide for our own lives, but also to use someday as we pray for others.

So let’s start at the beginning.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4 NIV)

On a side note, I just got back from a little trip to New York City. We stayed in Times Square. People everywhere. They all appeared to be hustling, chasing something different, but really searching for the same thing: something to fill the empty hole deep inside.

I think we all want something to trust in, to rely on, to be our very best friend.

I love New York City. I love being surrounded by the noise, the excitement. But the truth is, when the bright lights are gone and the buildings have crumbled, the only thing that will still remain is God. That’s it. Nothing else.

So what makes the most sense to celebrate? Something we can buy? Or Someone who can hold us when we realize that the thing we bought wasn’t as magical as we thought?

I say we rejoice in the Lord always. Let’s say it again: Rejoice!