(Our series on the Serenity Prayer continues)
Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time;
So that you do not think that 12 Step groups pioneered the thought “One day at a time”, let me remind you that Jesus ends his teaching about anxiety with these words: “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:34 ESV)
He is not saying “There is no trouble,” nor is he saying “Suffering is an illusion.” Instead he brings his argument to this conclusion after reminding us how much our Heavenly Father cares for all creation, and especially for us. God cares for the birds of the air and the flowers of the field, and especially for us.
Combine that reassuring though with this command from the apostle Paul: "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18) Rather than worrying about tomorrow, we are to enjoy what is good about today, and turn our minds back to God with the happy report of what we have found to be good.
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;
Hardship can be a pathway to peace only if we see it within the framework above. Our Father cares for us, and provides many small reinforcements of his love throughout each day. Hardship is not the deepest, truest thing about our days. More than that, Paul reminds us,
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3–5)
Praying to live one day at a time is an important step down the pathway to peace!
Pastor Mark loves his wife and grown children, the Word of God, and words. And coffee,
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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. (Philippians 4:6–7)
Christchurch Evangelical Covenant • 1900 Congress Street • Portland, Maine 04102 • 207-775-1900 • firstname.lastname@example.org