Summary: "When we put our full confidence in the Lord, He will help us cope with worry in our lives and give us peace since He is “the God of peace.”
ON COPING WITH WORRY--Philippians 4:4-9
Proposition: "When we put our full confidence in the Lord, He will help us cope with worry in our lives and give us peace since He is “the God of peace.”
Objective: My purpose is to challenge God’s people to fully trust Him in every experience of life.
Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength. Corrie Ten Boom
Dr. Charles Mayo, of the famed Mayo Clinic, says, "Worry affects the circulation, the heart, the glands, the whole nervous system, and it profoundly affects the health of us all." He continues by sharing, "I very rarely met anybody who died from overwork, but I have known many people who have died from worry."
There is a rabbinic story about a burdened old man who, along his difficult journey in life, met an angel. The old man was bent under the enormous weight of a great burlap sack across his shoulders and on his back. The angel said, "What have you got in there?" The man replied, "In there are my worries." The angel said, "Empty them out and let me see." The old man lowered the sack to the ground and turned out the contents. Out came first yesterday, and then tomorrow. The angel picked up yesterday, threw it aside and said, "You don’t need that anymore, because yesterday is in the hands of God, and no amount of worrying will change it." Then the angel picked up tomorrow, threw it aside and said, "You don’t need this either, because tomorrow is in the hands of God, and no amount of worrying will change it." And the legend says that the old man smiled, stood up straight, breathed freedom for the first time in a long time, and went on his way. Yes, there are two days in every week that we do not have to worry about--yesterday and tomorrow. Do not let your epitaph read: Hurried, Worried, Buried.
If anybody had an excuse for worrying, it was the Apostle Paul. His beloved Christian friends at Philippi were disagreeing with one another, and he was not there to help them. We have no idea what Euodia and Syntyche were disputing about, but whatever it was, it was bringing division into the church. Along with the potential division at Philippi, Paul had to face division among the believers at Rome (Phil. 1:14-17). Also, Paul was in prison awaiting a trial that could cost him his life. Yes, Paul had a good excuse to worry—but he did not! Instead, he took time to explain to us the secret of victory over worry.
If you ask, What is worry? The Greek word translated “anxious” (careful) in Philippians 4:6 means “to be pulled in different directions.” Our hopes pull us in one direction; our fears pull us the opposite direction; and we are pulled apart! The Old English root from which we get our word “worry” means “to strangle.” If you have ever really worried, you know how it does strangle a person! In fact, worry has definite physical consequences: headaches, neck pains, ulcers, even back pains. Worry affects our thinking, our digestion, and even our coordination.
Worry is an “inside job,” and it takes more than good intentions to get the victory. God is our Protector and offers His peace to stand as a guard like a soldier through our relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ. With that kind of protection—why worry? As someone has said, "99% of what we worry about never happens."
I. PRAISE unto GOD (v. 4) “rejoice in the Lord”-- The note of joy runs throughout the letter. If Christ is who we hold Him to be, then Christ offers more to make us glad than anyone or anything else can do to make us sorry. Paul can issue the call to rejoice as they remember his suffering and imprisonment at Philippi on his first visit was the occasion of an impressive victory of faith and joy over despair (Acts 16:25). Wms: “By the help of the Lord always keep up the glad spirit; yes, I will repeat it, keep up the glad spirit."
1. An exhortation “Rejoice in the Lord”-- It is the Philippians "faith in the Lord" that makes rejoicing even in the agonizing struggle with opposition a glorious possibility. Distressing thoughts are overcome by thoughts of the Lord and His love, goodness, wisdom, power and care.
2. An earnestness “Again I will say, rejoice”-- The Lord is too wise to make any mistakes, too loving to be unkind, too powerful to be thwarted and too involved in all that concerns us to be aloof. How can we think of the Lord and not rejoice? No matter how dark the circumstances of life may be, it is always possible for the Christian to rejoice in the Lord.