Summary: This is about God dwelling with you. He wants you to be holy, pure, right. Will you trust Him and not worry? Will you pray about everything in your life? Will you meditate on the Word of God? And finally, will you practice, will you do, what God calls
Opening illustration: Two men were marooned on an Island. One man paced back and forth worried and scared while the other man sat back and was sunning himself. The first man said to the second man, "aren’t you afraid we are about to die." "No," said the second man, "I make $100,000 a week and tithe faithfully to my church every week. My Pastor will find me."
This morning we will not be looking to man or things for peace during worrying times in our lives for they are temporary and short-lasting. Let us turn to Philippians 4 in our Bibles and gather as how we can have peace during worrying times of our lives.
Introduction: Anxious also means being distracted, worried or concerned about …
The ‘PEACE’ expressed by the false prophets was absence of war or calamity (even going on today), a concept far removed from the OT SHALOM, which emphasizes wholeness or soundness. True peace involves complete fellowship with God and right relations with others. It has more to do with character and attitude than outward circumstances.
As a remedy against perplexing care, constant prayer is recommended. Not only stated times for prayer, but in everything by prayer. We must join thanksgivings with prayers and supplications; not only seek supplies of good, but own the mercies we have received. God needs not to be told our wants or desires; he knows them better than we do; but he will have us show that we value the mercy, and feel our dependence on him. The peace of God, the comfortable sense of being reconciled to God, and having a part in his favor, and the hope of the heavenly blessedness, are a greater good than can be fully expressed. This peace will keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus; it will keep us from sinning under troubles, and from sinking under them; keep us calm and with inward satisfaction. Believers are to get and to keep a good name; a name for good things with God and good men. We should walk in all the ways of virtue, and abide therein; then, whether our praise is of men or not, it will be of God. The apostle is for an example. His doctrine and life agreed together. The way to have the God of peace with us, is to keep close to our duty. All our privileges and salvation arise in the free mercy of God; yet the enjoyment of them depends on our sincere and holy conduct. These are works of God, pertaining to God, and to him only are they to be ascribed, and to no other, neither men, words, nor deeds.
How to deal with worry in a stressful situation?
1. Prayer & Supplication (petition) (vs. 6) ~ By prayer - solemn application to God from a sense of want; Supplication - continuance in earnest prayer.
(a) Careful for nothing (withdrawing from anxiety) ~ The word used here – (merimnate) - does not mean that we are to exercise no care about worldly matters - no care to preserve our property, or to provide for our families; but that there is to be such confidence in God as to free the mind from anxiety, and such a sense of dependence on him as to keep it calm. Worry is sin. It means we are not trusting in God and His wisdom. Does He know better or do we?
(b) Thanksgiving ~ Thanksgiving connected with prayer. With thanksgiving, for innumerable favors already received; and for dangers, evils, and deaths turned aside. Thankfulness is offered as a spiritual sacrifice. It is given in combination with other spiritual sacrifices. As a spiritual sacrifice, thanksgiving can be offered in the form of a prayer and praise, which are almost inseparable and often offered together. Thankfulness is a peace offering (Leviticus 7:11-13). It produces peace (I Timothy 2:1-2).
(c) Requests ~ And let your souls be found in this exercise, or in the disposition in which this exercise can be performed, at all times, on all occasions, and in all places. This is not a grocery list but coming to God by praying vocally or mentally with groans and sighs just like Hannah was praying in the temple. Just like Samuels mom prayed in the temple when asking for a kid.
Results (vs. 7)
(a) Presence of exceeding Peace ~ better than, opposite of disorder,
That is, which surpasses all that people had conceived or imagined. The expression is one that denotes that the peace imparted is of the highest possible kind. The language here is that which one would use who designed to speak of that which was of the highest order. The Christian, committing his way to God, and feeling that he will order all things aright, has a peace which is nowhere else known. No confidence that a man can have in his own powers; no reliance which he can repose on his own plans or on the promises or fidelity of his fellow-men.