Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Peter 5:7
Worrying seems to come so natural to us. No matter who we are, where we live, or what our circumstances might be, each person can easily find something about which to worry.
We have the Covid-19 Pandemic. We have the economic shut down and present attempts to open it back up. Some have chronic and even life-threatening illness. Others have personal or family issues. At one time or another, each of us can have problems and needs which seem to be insurmountable, unsolvable, totally overwhelming.
Ed: “You sure look worried.”
Ned: “Man, I’ve got so many troubles that if anything bad happens to me today, it’ll be at least two weeks before I can worry about it.”
Someone has said, “You can’t change the past, but you can ruin a perfectly good present by worrying about the future.” Worry does ruin the present. Yet, we who know Christ don’t have to be overwhelmed and overcome by our problems and needs. We have hope! We have His help and guidance which will bless and encourage us – even if our circumstances don’t improve right away.
"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” (Philippians 4:6, KJV)
400 years ago in England, the word “careful” meant to be filled with anxious care. Paul’s Greek word means to be anxious or to worry.
Look at the Amplified translation:
“Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.”
And now, the New Living Translation:
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”
The verb means to stop doing something one is already doing. A more literal translation: Paul is commanding us, “Stop perpetually worrying about even one thing!” When we worry we show that we aren’t trusting God, and that is sin for one who is saved. When we don’t trust Him, we can’t grow spiritually, we can’t understand Scripture or God’s will and ways with His people. We need to trust in Him, His protection, His provision, and His guidance - even in the middle of really hard circumstances.
God promises us that, if we stop worrying and start trusting God, putting our requests and needs before Him in prayer, with a thankful heart for all He has already done in and for us, His peace, which can’t be explained by human wisdom and understanding, can fill and actually stand guard over our hearts and minds! Wow!!
Philippians 4:6-7: NASB translation:
"6 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, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Expanded translation, Greek Scholar, Kenneth Wuest:
“Stop worrying about even one thing, but in everything by prayer whose essence is that of worship and devotion and by supplication which is a cry for your personal needs, with thanksgiving let your requests for the things asked for be made known in the presence of God, and the peace of God which surpasses all power of comprehension shall mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
Time and space prevent in depth consideration, but note one simple, but huge, encouragement to stop worrying and be a trusting believer - from The Amplified Bible:
“Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.” 1 Peter 5:7 (AMP)