Scripture Text – Philippians 4:1-9
The antidote to worry is the secure mind: “And the peace of God . . . will guard (guard like a soldier at a garrison) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” When you have the secure mind, the peace of God guards you and the God of peace guides you. With that kind of protection—why worry?
If we are to conquer worry and experience the secure mind, we must meet the conditions that God has laid down. There are three we are going to discuss: right praying, right thinking, and right living.
Right Praying – Continued
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 understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7.
Paul counsels us to take “everything to God in prayer.” In essence he is admonishing, “Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything!” We are often prone to pray about the “big things” in life and forget to pray about what we consider to be the so-called “little things,” at least until they grow and become big things! Talking to God about everything that concerns us and Him is the first step toward victory over worry.
The result is that the “peace of God” guards the heart and the mind. You will remember that Paul was chained to a Roman soldier, guarded day and night. In like manner, “the peace of God” stands guard over the two areas that create worry, which we discussed earlier, the heart (wrong feeling) and the mind (wrong thinking). When we give our hearts to Christ in salvation, we experience “peace with God” (Romans 5:1); but the “peace of God” takes us a step farther into His blessings. This does not mean that there will be absence of trials on the outside, but it does mean a quiet confidence within, regardless of circumstances, people, or things.
Daniel gives us a wonderful illustration of peace through prayer. When the king announced that none of his subjects was to pray to anyone except the king, Daniel went to his room, opened his windows, and prayed as before (Daniel 6:1–10). Note how Daniel prayed. He “prayed, and gave thanks before his God” and he was “making supplication.” Prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving! And the result was perfect peace in the midst of his difficulty! Daniel was able to spend the night with the lions he was thrown in with, in perfect peace, while the king in his palace could not sleep (Daniel 6:18).
The first condition for the secure mind and victory over worry is right praying.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. – Philippians 4:8.
Peace involves the heart and the mind. “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” – Isaiah 26:3. Wrong thinking leads to wrong feeling, and before long the heart and mind are pulled apart and we are strangled by worry. We must realize that thoughts are real and powerful, even though they cannot be seen, weighed, or measured. We must bring “every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:5.
Paul spells out in detail the four main things we ought to think about as Christians.
Whatever is true. A study done by Dr. Walter Calvert on worry, funded by the National Science Foundation, revealed that only 8 percent of the things people worried about were legitimate matters of concern! The other 92 percent were either imaginary health concerns, never happened, did happen in the past, or involved minor and trivial matters over which they had no control.1 Satan is the absolute and ultimate liar (John 8:44), and he wants to corrupt our minds with his lies (2 Corinthians 11:3). “Has God indeed said?” is the way he approaches us, just as he approached Eve (Genesis 3:1). The Holy Spirit controls our minds through truth (John 17:17; 1 John 5:6), but the devil tries to control them through lies. Whenever we believe a lie, Satan can then take over!
Whatever is noble (honest) and just. This means “worthy of respect and what is right.” There are many things that are not respectable, and Christians should not think and dwell about these things. This does not mean we hide our heads in the sand and avoid what is unpleasant and displeasing, but it does mean we do not focus our attention on dishonorable things and permit them to control our thoughts and mind.
To Be Continued