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Read Introduction to Philippians

 

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God

 

“Be anxious for nothing” 

The word “nothing” means not one thing. We are to worry about “not one thing.” It is emphatic in the sentence. Stop worrying about even one thing. Worry will short-circuit our fellowship with God.

Anxiety indicates we do not trust in the sovereignty of God: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Ro. 8:28). Does God have His hand on the reins of the universe? We think that worry will help God manage the universe.

Do we exercise faith in connection to our problems? Do you worry about “not one thing”? You say, “Yes, that is me; I never worry about anything.” We would all question the veracity of that statement. We say, “I do not worry, I just get a little exercised at times.” That is how we rename worry. Folks rationalize sin by explaining it away.

No one can do our fretting for us; we do it to ourselves. We permit our mind to be troubled and upset. We worry about our bills, our children, our health, our business. Our motto is: “Why pray when we can worry?” “I gave my problems to the Lord but I took them back.” All these people want to do is to get out of a jam. All they want from God is an aspirin.

Did you ever build a house? Did you check on everything the builder did so that he could not make a move without you checking it out? Do you know what you should have done? Find another contractor. If you cannot trust your contractor, why hire him? If we cannot trust God, why pray? When we cannot accept God’s answer, we try to straighten Him out: “Lord, I asked you to take the heat off and it is worse today than it was yesterday.” It is the same as going to the builder and saying, “You did it this way, I want it done that way.” He says, “If you do it your way, your house will collapse.” The principle is that when you hire someone to do something, let him do it. When we do not accept answered prayer, we are saying to God, “I don’t like the way You are doing it.” We imply that we know more about the situation than God knows.

We cannot worry and claim the promises at the same time. Worry and faith are mutually exclusive. They cannot coexist. Faith in faith is not biblical faith. Faith in the Bible always has an object. We can trust God because He has given us a principle or promise. He has made a verbal commitment to us and we can trust Him for the fulfillment of it (Ps 41:10; Ps 55:22; 1 Jn. 1:9). Belief requires something concrete.

Principle:

If we worry about any area of our lives, in that area we do not operate under faith in God’s promises.

Application:

When you confess your sin, do you have a gnawing feeling that you are not forgiven? Is there an anxiety about whether God accepts you back? This is an issue of trust in God’s promises such as 1 John 1:9:

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

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