Give your heart to God right now. Ask Him to meet with you and to bring illumination to your soul as you come to His Word.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”―Philippians 4:6-7
Main Point: The prohibition to avoid ―“Be anxious for nothing”
What is anxiety?
At the core, it is a divided mind. Paul does not say, “be anxious for nothing, if it doesn’t involve your children or your spouse.” He does not say, “be anxious for nothing if it doesn’t involve your health, or your job, or your reputation.” Paul speaks plainly and pointedly―“Be anxious for nothing.” Refuse to let your mind be divided by worry. The Christian is to ban anxiety from any room in his life.
A life free from worry, dependent on Him to supply our every need, is the kind of life God calls us to enjoy (Matt.6:26).
What is it that is bringing anxiety to you right now?
Why this prohibition?
- The prevalence of anxiety―we live in an anxious generation.
- Because the real trouble lies deep within your own heart.
The folly (foolishness) of anxiety:
- It accomplishes absolutely nothing (Matt.6:27).
- It weakens and wears us out.
Think about those times in your life when you have been most anxious. Do you see them as times when you were physically tired or worn out? Maybe you even found it difficult to just think because your mind was so tired. Maybe you were not able to get any sleep because you were so anxious. Write down your personal experiences of weakness in times of anxiety.
The cause of anxiety is a lack of trust in God. Your heart cannot be full of the Spirit and full of anxiety at the same time. God has promised:
- To never leave us nor forsake us (Heb.13:5ff).
- To save to the uttermost those who draw near to Him through Christ (Heb.7:25).
- That He will cause “all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom.8:28).
Consider the thing that you wrote down which is bringing anxiety to you. Can you identify what promise or attribute of God that you are not trusting?
Our God is not one who places His children in the midst of a dangerous world only to leave us to make it on our own, as the deist would say. God knows the very number of hairs on your head. The winds that blow are our Father’s winds. The rains that fall are our Father’s rains. His sovereignty (control) rules over every hill and valley, over every mountain and ravine. The law of nature operates by His hand. Read Isaiah 41:10.
The Principle to Practice
Relief can never be found by:
- A mere act of the will. No man can shake off anxiety by willing himself to do it.
- Arguing with ourselves about the uselessness of worrying.
- Attempting to harden ourselves to not feel anything.
Read 1 Peter 5:6-7. Peter tells you to:
- Humble yourself.
- Relieve yourself of the burden by placing it upon God.
- Know that the basis of your action is that “He cares for you.”
Prayer is the only real and thorough cure for anxiety. In “everything” we are to make our requests known to God. He may say, “Yes,” He may say, “No,” or He may say, “Wait awhile.” God may not give us what we ask for, but we can trust Him for this: He will always give us what is best and He will always give us something better.
How are we to do this? Through prayer and supplication. The differences between prayer and supplication are:
|General request||Intense and earnest plea for specific grace|
|Involves adoration||Involves intense energy|
|About everything||About a particular situation|
We are to be praying to God about everything throughout the day, and we are also to pray earnestly and specifically about situations that arise.
Why does Paul add thanksgiving to prayer and supplication?
- To teach us that we can never approach God without having a reason to be grateful.
- To teach us that whenever we go to God for fresh favors, we should be sure to acknowledge the former ones.
- Because no anxiety can resist thanksgiving (Acts 16:25ff).
The promise: “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
What is this peace?
- It is a calm blessedness that transcends the reach of human thought.
- It surpasses every device or counsel of men.
- It can only be known by the inner experience of the believer―you have to experience it to know it; you cannot describe it completely.
What does this peace do? It will “guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
How did this peace come to Jesus?
- His peace was the peace of adequate resources―He was totally free from concern. He knew the endless supply of enabling power that made Him face each day with peace.
What do you need God to supply you with today, which He promises to supply? Ask Him for these things, and believe that He will supply.
- His peace was the peace of a disciplined life. An undisciplined life is not an easier life; an undisciplined thought life, spiritual life, or home life ends up costing you in the long run. Jesus had a disciplined life.
In what areas in your life do you see a lack of discipline? Write them here and ask God to grow you in these areas.
- His peace was the peace of fellowship with God―Jesus slipped away to some lonely garden to rest His soul on God. He pledged to meet with His Father in prayer.
Do you have a regular time of prayer set aside? If not, write down a time when you can commit, with God’s strength, to spending time with Him. It does not need to be a two-hour session; it may be five minutes―just write the time down that you will make available to sit and talk with your Father.
Thought to ponder:
Charles Kingsley was known to say, “Do today’s duty, fight today’s temptation, and do not weaken and distract yourself by looking forward to things which you cannot see, and couldn’t understand if you saw them.”
- Apply God’s cure for anxiety: prayer with thanksgiving. Medicine never taken can never cure.
- Embrace the cross.
- Resign your life.
- Receive from Jesus fountains of compassion and peace.