Today we see three r’s; rejoice, reasonableness, and requests.
First, Paul returns to the main theme of his writing: joy, rejoicing! Despite the circumstances from which he was writing (cf. 1.12-14), he has spoken of joy and rejoicing many, many times (1.4, 1.18, 1.25, 2.2, 2.16, 2.17, 2.18, 2.28, 3.1, 3.3, and 4.1). The cure for the fighting of vv.2-3? Rejoice in the Lord always!
The prevention of future fights is Paul’s next r; reasonableness. He is communicating that the saints at Philippi – and you and me by extension – are to live our lives with meekness, self-control, gentleness, an aversion to arguments, and patience. What a way to future-proof yourself from fighting – show reasonableness!
So we are rejoicing, we are showing our reasonableness, and our next r is a command: do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God (v.6). We rejoice, we are reasonable, and we request.
In prayer and supplication, in communication with God and by asking of God, with thanksgiving we make our requests. We tell God what we feel we need. We ask God to help, to show Himself glorious in our lives, we tell our heavenly Father about everything we are doing and how we need help.
The result of living these three r’s is found in v.7, and comes in the form of the peace of God guarding our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. This peace is so unexplainably good that you have to experience it to believe it, and even then it still surpasses all understanding.
So, rejoice, show reasonableness, make requests, and experience peace. How different to the fights of vv.2-3, a life filled with the peace of God!