Philippians 4:6-7 cautions us against troubling, perplexing care.
Don’t Be “Careful”
We are told, “Be careful for nothing,” in the old English version of the Bible. This is a similar expression as used in Matthew 6:25, which says, “Take no thought for your life” (KJV). That is, avoid anxious care and distracting thoughts when you experience need and difficulty in your life.
In this context, “care” doesn’t mean diligence, wise planning, and appropriate concern. It means the doubt-filled care and distrust of God, which is both sin and foolishness, and which only jumbles and distracts your mind.
God commands us in his Word not to be anxious. Anxiety shows our distrust in God’s ability to take care of us, and makes us ineffective in serving God.
Instead, Pray About Everything
As an antidote against “perplexing care”—or worry‚—God commands us to constantly pray and tell him our concerns. He says, “In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (v. 6 KJV, emphasis added).
This means that we must not only keep spending regular times in prayer, but we also must pray in every specific emergency.
“In everything,” God says. So when anything burdens our spirits, we must ease our minds through prayer. When our circumstances are complicated or distressing, we must seek God’s direction and support.
Because God Wants To Listen
Prayer is the offering up of our desires to God, or making these desires known to him: “Let your requests be made known to God” (v. 6 KJV). This doesn’t mean that God needs to be told our wants or desires, for he knows them better than we can tell him.
Instead, God wants to have us tell him our regards and concern. He wants to hear us express both his great mercy as we thank him, and our sense of dependence on him as we make requests.
The effect of this will be the peace of God guarding our hearts.
And God Gives Peace
The peace of God is the comfortable sense that our relationship with God has been mended—that we have favor in his sight, we have the hope of heaven, and we look forward to enjoying him now and forever.
God offers you favor in his sight—not because of what you have done, but because of what God has done for you through his Son, Jesus.
God sent his Son Jesus to live the obedient life that we could not. Jesus died as our substitute to rescue us from the punishment we deserved for all the ways we sin against God. Then Jesus rose from the dead, putting our debt and sin to rest, offering us a new life of peace with God.
God’s gift of peace is received by faith—by believing that Jesus is Lord and Savior—and by taking God at his Word. God’s peace isn’t earned; it’s given.
Remembering God’s gift of peace in Jesus will keep us from sinning in our troubles, and from sinking under them. For, our circumstantial peace is governed by our eternal peace. God’s peace will keep you calm, without distracting emotions, and with inward satisfaction when you give both your eternal and temporary concerns to him.
For, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3 ESV).
This devotional is adapted by Bibles.net from Matthew Henry’s Commentary, which is in the Public Domain. His full text can be found here at biblestudytools.com.