Phil 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing…”
Most know the rest of the verse, but a few days ago for the first time someone put it in context for me. For me, being the mathematics guy I am, I have always been taught to look for the “why behind the what.” For me it is often hard to accept something without first knowing why. A bad thing for me as a Christian as there are moments where God gives instructions and then the months that follow are filled with every single question, concern, fear and worry under the sun.
But here in Phil 4:6 Paul tells us to be anxious for nothing. Great! Why? What is it that should cause us to not be anxious, what fact, what constant, on what ground are we to stand in order that we won’t be anxious. The answer is found in verse 5. It is obvious really, but often times we need His Spirit to tell us again and again. It is the process of guarding our minds and washing ourselves daily of the sin of worry and anxiety. Here is Phil 4:5b-6 in the ESV:
Phil 4:5b-6 The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Why shouldn’t you be anxious? Because the Lord is at hand. God has brought you to this place to grow you, to teach you, to show you, to give you the maturity you have longed for. Don’t despise this day of small things. Be anxious for nothing, the Lord is at hand, or the way I like to say it to myself “Chris, the Lord is at hand, therefore, be anxious for nothing!” Or as David so eloquently puts it, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
“We tend to think that a little anxiety and worry are simply an indication of how wise we really are, yet it is actually a much better indication of just how wicked we are. Fretting rises from our determination to have our own way. Our Lord never worried and was never anxious, because His purpose was never to accomplish His own plans but to fulfill God’s plans. Fretting is wickedness for a child of God. Have you been propping up that foolish soul of yours with the idea that your circumstances are too much for God to handle?.... Deliberately tell God that you will not fret about whatever concerns you. All our fretting and worrying is caused by planning without God.” – Chambers
Always factor God into your equation. “Be strong and courageous,” Why God? “Because the Lord your God is with you” (Jos 1:9) Oh, that’s why…