“The Lord Is at Hand”
The apostle Paul wrote, “Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand” (Philippians 4:5). The phrase “the Lord is at hand” literally means “the Lord is near.” The expression “the Lord is at hand” may be compared with the word Maranatha, which means Lord come (1 Corinthians 16:22).
The idea of the Lord’s nearness has been the hope of the believers throughout the ages and included the knowledge of His continual presence in their daily lives as well as the hope of the second coming. Because of this glorious hope, the apostle urged the believers to “be anxious for nothing” (Philippians 4:6 6) and not to worry (Matthew 6:25).
Paul’s admonition takes away the painful stress that is inevitable in those who rely on themselves to face life’s trials. It is possible to drown in the sea of troubles or to choose to rise above it by “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). The idea of “the Lord is at hand” should empower Christians to stay free from worldly pursuits, and to be patient in their relations with others (Matthew 6:33, 34).
There is nothing that may affect the life of the believer that is too small for God to notice, just as there is nothing too great for Him to care for and no burden too heavy to carry. The Lord knows what His children really need. And He will certainly give them what is for their eternal good. They do not bring their petitions to the Lord to let Him know their needs for He already knows their condition before they even ask (Matthew 6:8).
Seeing that the Lords is at hand, why should the Christian carry the burdens instead of surrendering them to the Lord? The believer should lift his troubles to the Lord in prayer and supplication (Ephesians 6:18; 1 Timothy 2:1; 5:5; Philippians 1:4). It is his privilege to connect daily with their heavenly Father through the study of His Word and prayer (John 15:4).
Along with prayer, the believer needs to thank God for everything. For God works all things for the good for those that love Him (Romans 8:28). Praise and thanksgiving help to remind the believer of past answered prayers and inspires him with faith, which in turn helps him to receive additional blessings. Jesus said, “Have faith in God…whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11:22-24).
The apostle Paul lived a life of continual thanksgiving in spite of the hardships, persecutions, and trials he went through. Yet, he said, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4). To rejoice is possible because the heavenly Father is always the same (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8; James 1:17). His love, His thoughtfulness, His power, are the same in times of trials as in times of success. The Savior’s ability to give calmness to the heart does not rely on outer circumstances; so, the mind that is focused on Him may continually rejoice.
This condition of simple trust and full reliance on the Lord will bring great peace to the soul (Philippians 4:7). It may not be possible for the believer to continually be at peace with all men (Hebrews 12:14; Romans 12:18), but failure to reach that state need not hinder his receiving the peace of God in his heart. Such peace is based on child like trust in God and an experiential knowledge of His continual love (John 14:27; Romans 1:7; 5:1; Colossian 3:15; 2 Thessalonians 3:16). The Lord is at hand!
In His service,