Philippians 4:6-7 – “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” NASB
I love these verses for their promise, hope, comfort, instruction, and revelation. Most people, fret or worry some. Many vehemently deny that reality but most engage in worry from time to time. We would be miles ahead in the pursuit of victory if we quit denying reality, after all, God knows the truth, and acknowledged our falling short in this area.
The apostle enjoins us, “Be anxious for nothing…” That is a tall order when the floods of adversity are rising all around us. That is a difficult task when the storm clouds are looming overhead. It is one thing to say, “Don’t worry” and another to “not worry.” To defeat worry or fretting requires confidence that the outcome being positive.
The only way we can face the trials of life with no trepidation is to develop our confidence in God and His promises. He either is who the Bible says He is and does has the power and ability the Bible claims or He does not. If He does not, then let the worrying begin, because we are in deep trouble. However, if He is, then we need to learn the secret of not ‘fretting.’
The apostle gives us a process and a promise. He charges us to “Be anxious for nothing.” But knowing that we could never achieve that lofty goal without additional insight and understanding he presents a process. The process is making our requests known to God (who already knows) and the pathway to doing that.
He says, “in everything.” Wow! Paul, that is a very broad and all-encompassing challenge. In everything means everything. We are to approach God biblically and it appears on the surface that he repeats himself saying, by prayer and supplication.
The first word translated prayer is proseuche (pros-yoo-khay) which implies worship. It is the verbalization of our worship to God. It is not simply praise, but a recounting of Who God is and What God does. Remember the Psalmists instructed that we are to enter God’s Gates with Thanksgiving and His Courts with Praise. The first step in approaching God is revealed in the Lord’s Prayer found in Matthew 6. “Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.” That’s where we begin, worshipping God and recognizing His sovereignty and lordship.
Then, he says, “by supplication.” The word is deesis (deh-ay-sis) which is petition. Once we have focused on Who God is and offered our worship to Him, we petition. We make our requests known. We detail our desires. We present our requests to Him for His scrutiny and direction. We honestly and openly tell God what we believe we need and request His divine intervention or provision.
Next, he stays, “with thanksgiving.” Here the directive is from a grateful heart and a consciousness of what He has provided and promised, we give thanksgiving for a request we are making. I call your attention to Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality – faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].” Amplified.
That is when verse 7 kicks in, “and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” It is at this point that all reason for ‘fretting’ is erased. It is at this point that we know that we know that we know, He is God and we are confident that He keeps His promises. It is here that we have the promise of God’s incredible peace, and rest in the confidence that He is guarding our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. That is peace the world knows nothing of. It is a confidence that denies fretting’s argument that we need to worry. It is a state of calm assurance. We arrived at the directive through the process and now receive the promise.
God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Jesus!