By The Rev. Ron Purkey
Read Philippians 4:1-20
“Be anxious for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” (Philippians 4:6)
Worry, worry, worry! How many Christians lose their joy and peace because of worry! In this chapter, Paul tells us that the secure mind — the mind that is guarded by the peace of God — frees us from worry.
We Need God’s Presence (Philippians 4:1-5). “The Lord is at hand” does not mean “His coming is soon,” but that he is near to help us right now. We must face differences honestly and do what God wants us to do (see Matthew 18:15-17).
“Moderation” in verse 5 means “sweet reasonableness.” It is wonderful when Christians can have convictions and yet be easy to get along with! If we keep in mind that the Lord is with us in every circumstance, then it is easy to obey him and get along with other people. If we would just rejoice in him and get our eyes on him instead of on people, we would have his joy and peace.
We Need God’s Peace (Philippians 4:6-9). “Peace with God” is the result of faith in Christ (Romans 5:1); “the peace of God” and the presence of “the God of peace” will come when the believer practices right thinking, right praying, and right living. Worry is tension between the mind and heart. The peace of God will guard (garrison) our hearts and minds if we but meet the conditions He gives.
We Need Prayer; But Right Praying. The Bible nowhere says that any kind of praying will bring peace to our hearts.
What is right praying? It begins with adoration, for this is what the word “prayer” means in verse 6. This is love, enjoying the presence of God, honoring him in worship.
Rushing into his presence and begging for peace of mind will never get results. We must bow before him in worship and let him search our hearts and minds.
Next comes supplication, which means the earnest, sincere desire of the heart. True prayer comes from the heart, not the lips. What a joy it is to present our requests to him!
We Need Peace Of Mind (see Isaiah. 26:3 and Romans 8:6). Thoughts are powerful; “as he thinketh, so he is” (Proverbs 23:7). Wrong thoughts will lead to unrest and discouragement, but spiritual thinking will lead to peace.
Paul tells us in this verse what to think about; if you compare these virtues to Psalm 19:7-9, you will see that the word of God meets all of these requirements. Meditate on the word of God.
We Need Right Living. It is not enough to use the Bible as a basis for praying and claiming its promises; we must also use it as a basis for our living, obeying its precepts. (1) Wrong praying, (2) wrong living, and (3) wrong thinking. produce war instead of peace!
Read Ron Purkey’s Bible study outlines free at rcpbibleoutlines.com. Purkey has been an ordained Baptist minister for 50 years.