- rejoice always
- again, rejoice
- let your gentleness be known to everyone
- do not worry about anything
- in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving tell God what you need
But if you can't accuse Paul of being obtuse here, you can say he is setting the bar awfully high. These five "simple" rules for life, are, in fact, very difficult. I get that. Paul, I'm sure got that. And God gets it too. Which is why the rules are less important than the promise that follows.
The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Rejoicing, gentleness, lack of worry, thanksgiving - these things are hard to pull off on your own, but with God all things are possible. With the peace of Christ resting in your heart it is a whole lot easier to give up worry, to maintain a spirit of gentleness, and to rejoice no matter what. Paul sets the bar pretty high, but he can't set it too high for God.