每日诗歌: 差遣我 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUfytIUQ4s4)
Isaiah 39 [Read]
Isaiah 40 [Read]
Philippians 4 [Read]
“Do not be anxious about anything” (Phi 4:6). To people like me, this is probably one of the most difficult biblical exhortations to heed. Therefore, I decided to do a simple word study to see how this word “anxious” was used in the NT. Hopefully, it will shed some light on us.
It was first used by Jesus telling the disciples “…do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on” (Mt 6:25, ESV). Jesus wants them to leave personal needs in the Father’s hand. If he can take care of the birds in the sky and flowers in the field, he would surely take care of us. When Martha was anxious about many things, Jesus told her “…but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her” (Lk 10:42, ESV). Jesus wants her to focus on him and his word instead of trying to make her ministry look good, for only his word lasts forever. When disciples were brought before the rulers, Jesus told them “…do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say” (Lk 12:11, ESV). Jesus wants them to surrender their complete trust to the Holy Spirit, so they may become an unobstructed conduit for the power of the gospel. All these anxieties are for personal concerns.
But Paul was anxious about one thing, which was for all the churches (2Co 11:28). Even in this book, he admitted being anxious about his beloved Philippians (Phi 2:20). In particular, he was anxious about their selfish ambition (2:3), arguing (2:14), and standing firm in truth (4:1) among other things. In other words, he was mostly anxious about their being overcome by Sin and ended up hurting the body of Christ.
Therefore, when Paul exhorts them to pray with thanksgiving, he must be speaking from experience. He must have experienced the peace that transcends all understanding (4:7). I wish he would tell us that all his prayers have been answered, but he doesn’t. Instead, he tells us that God will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (4:7). Well, that ought to be enough.
Do you feel anxious sometimes like I do? Let us follow Paul’s exhortation together. Let us by prayer present all requests to God, so that, regardless what the result is, we may also experience that promised peace which transcends all understanding.
Keep on reading, you have finished the 33rd book.