“Be anxious for nothing” Paul writes in Phillipians 4:6 (NASB). But I wonder how? How is it possible to be anxious about nothing? Just look at the world around us and there’s plenty to be anxious about.
Yet Paul tells us what we should do instead of being anxious. He continues in verse 6: “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Paul encourages us to seek God in the midst of our anxiousness. To humbly lay our concerns (supplication) before our Lord; to approach God with thanksgiving in our heart.
Paul is laying out the path to finding peace in the middle of our struggles — peace amidst our fears about what might happen in an uncertain future. When we humble ourselves before God in prayer, we accept His sovereignty. When we approach God with a grateful heart despite our circumstances, we are on a path to finding peace through our Lord Jesus.
A heart full of anger toward God does not find rest. This is not a condition of humble submission to God. A heart that is ungrateful about life’s circumstances is vulnerable to bitterness. This hinders the ability to see God’s purposes. It becomes difficult to experience “the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension (verse 7);” difficult to “guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Anxious thoughts will still come in our uncertain world. Questions about God’s purposes remain. But if we train our minds to humbly approach God with our concerns, our fears, our anxious thoughts; to approach our Lord with thanksgiving for His grace and love; we can know the peace that goes beyond our understanding. Through our faith in Jesus Christ, we can stop bitterness from taking root.
© 2021 CGThelen
All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. – Hebrews 12:11
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