The Place to Go!
We have been looking at, over the last few blogs, what I believe to be very important mental health passage in which Paul shares with us the importance of a spiritual response in the face of difficulties and problems. We saw over the last few blogs the importance of rejoicing in the Lord and then having a gentle spirit in the face of whatever difficulties we may encounter. Consider Paul’s continued thoughts as we read, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God,” (Philippians 2: 4 – 6 NASB). We were talking, some blogs ago, about how Paul expressed his anxiety over the health condition of Epaphroditus (Phil.2:26-30) and yet here he tells us to be anxious for nothing. The tense in this passage is in the negative present imperative which means “stop being anxious”. I believe what Paul is sharing, from his own personal experience, is that Christians are not to be filled with a level of anxiety or tossed about with worry, but rather that we are to maintain an attitude of confidence in our God to move and work in any situation.
When we think of our current problems with the coronavirus, I think it’s important that we trust God and have a confidence in our Lord Jesus to care for us and to work in whatever situation we may be experiencing. When we are overwhelmed with worry or anxiety this obviously eliminates trusting God. I believe we should be following the precautions that have been prescribed, but I also think it’s profoundly important to be trusting that whatever the situation God is going to move and work. We are warned against worry and anxiety not only by Paul, but also by the Lord Jesus Christ and then Peter in his first epistle gives us a solution when he writes, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”, (1 Peter 5:7 NIV). It’s important for us, in any situation, to be standing fast in the Lord and serving Him and allowing Jesus to provide a level of peace through His indwelling spirit in our lives. Remember what we saw last time that “the Lord is near”. Paul is going to go on to tell us that whenever we find ourselves anxious or worried our first action should be to get alone with God and worship Him. We will look at the challenge for us to maintain an attitude of prayer-fullness towards God in our blog later this week. For now, let us spend some time worshiping the greatness and majesty of our God who in every situation can work for our good and His glory. Next time will begin with the contrast word “but” as will see Paul’s fourfold description of the believer’s communion with God.
In Christ’s Service,
Pastor Rich Sivo