Careful for Nothing (the long version)
John 14 27Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Philippians 4:6Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Hebrews 2:12Saying, I(Jesus) will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. 13And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. 14Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Read also Psalm 23, Psalm 91
I heard recently that ‘anxiousness is experiencing failure in advance.’ The premise being when you are anxious, it isn’t over the success of a situation, but over its very likely failure. Worry says that whatever you are currently undertaking is inevitably doomed to destruction.
How do we as Christians ‘take the scary’ out of life? How do we calm the waves of worry? Obviously we say ‘Trust in God,’ which is a very handy religious thing to say. It is scriptural, and has great application. But how do you trust (and I mean trust) Him? If this trust was so easily attained Christians would be very different, I should think.
Some ministers over the years have said, “Work as if it’s all up to you, and pray as if it is all up to God.’ This is a handy saying to be sure, but I think it places Christians in a position of self-dependence. Paul states, ‘Don’t be anxious for anything. Present your request to God, being thankful. And God’s peace will guard you.’ Jesus says, “You don’t let your heart be troubled.’
Jesus and Paul were both firm believers that their prayers were answered even before they spoke them. With the confidence of being heard by God,they asked knowing they received, and for there they carried on without anxiousness.
Now, we may say “If I had confidence my prayers were answered, I wouldn’t be worried either!” Ah, delightful point. But the point itself is an indication of unbelief, or if you prefer, a lack of faith. The question must be asked; Why don’t I think my prayer is answered?
Personally, I have found my unbelief rests in two main categories:
1. Knowledge of God’s Will. If I am unsure of His desire for a situation I find myself very much unable to stand in faith. What does God desire for me? What does He want? Until these questions are answered in my heart, I am unable to go forward.
2. Condemnation. Often times our hearts will condemn us for whatever reason and we begin to doubt whether or not God will answer a prayer from us. Why should He? We are so far from Him. This condemnation comes not from God or the Holy Spirit, but from the devil, the accuser of the brethren (that’s you and me).
When I abide in Christ, (resting in His finished work in my life, His place in me and my place in Him, believing His Word), these two reasons crumble. The Word washes away doubt, and I find myself simply believing. I find all my labor is to enter into His rest. His Word reveals His will for me, and it brings to mind my place in the family. I realize God loves me and cares for me so much, that He didn’t even spare His Son in His love for me. Why would He withhold anything else? How can I worry with that knowledge in me?