There is a famous quotation that says "worry is like paying interest on money that you never receive". Does this resound loud and clear in our world today? Is it a temptation and stronghold that the enemy works effectively on Christians? Are we able to overcome its unhealthy influence?
Yes!! Yes!! Yes!! As participants in the spiritual competition, we have tools that are readily available to overcome the circumstances and deceptions of our Adversary, the devil. He works diligently to keep our eyes off of God and to focus on earthly things. He wants our joy!! We simply must learn to consistently apply what God says works, and in this case, how to defeat worry and/or anxiety.
Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
In other Bible versions, the word "careful" is translated either worry or anxious. Regardless, it is not a state of mind we want to carry for any length of time. The simple instruction, from God to us, is to make our request known to him. Then we can be assured that the fruit of our request will be as He promises.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
John MacArthur in his writing, "The Gift of Peace" brings insightful understanding to this verse:
"The peace of God is not based on circumstances like the world's peace, so it doesn't always make sense to the carnal mind; Paul says it is a peace that surpasses comprehension. It doesn't seem reasonable that such peace could exist in the midst of the problems and troubles Christians go through. But this is divine, supernatural peace; it cannot be figured out on a human level.
The word for "guard" in Philippians 4:7 is not the word that means to "watch," or "keep imprisoned." It is a word that is often used in a military sense, meaning "to stand at a post and guard against the aggression of an enemy." When peace is on guard, the Christian has entered an impregnable citadel from which nothing can dislodge him. The name of the fortress is Christ, and the guard is peace. The peace of God stands guard and keeps worry from the corroding our hearts, and unworthy thoughts from tearing up our minds.
This is the kind of peace men really want: They want a peace that deals with the past, one where no strings of conscience dipped in the poison of past sins tear at them and torture them hour by hour. They want a peace that governs the present, with no unsatisfied desires gnawing at their hearts. They want a peace that holds promise for the future, where no foreboding fear of the unknown and dark tomorrow threatens them. And that is exactly the peace through which the guilt of the past is forgiven; by which the trials of the present are overcome; and in which our destiny in the future is secured eternally."
Let's rest assured that as we make our requests known to Him, His perfect peace will guard us in each and every circumstance we face, and our JOY can be full.
- Warren (Barney) Barnhart