Fresh Hope – 25th August 2020

Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

The Greek word used here and translated as ‘anxious’, is derived from another Greek word that means ‘to divide into parts’.

That’s such a great way of understanding what worry does to us all. It causes our focus on the things that really matter to be divided, and therefore diluted, because of the amount of worrying that we are doing. We have all experienced the feeling of not being able to think straight. Ask yourself, at what time in your life was that the case. It will almost certainly have been during a time of worry —your mind was divided. Stop and think about it for a moment: many of the things that you’ve spent time worrying about have never come to be reality anyway!

Paul, as he writes in this verse is telling us point blank — stop worrying! Tell yourself today that worry is worthless. It changes nothing apart from you. It breaks down your life.

Note also, the language used in this verse tells us to pray ‘in’ every situation. It doesn’t tell us to ask God to keep us free from problems, but encourages us that when we are stuck right in the middle of those problems…PRAY! In other words Paul is urging us all to break an established pattern of anxiety by going to God in prayer before you have chance to worry about it. Beware of ‘phantom’ anxieties too —they will play on your mind, but are actually just the product of your imagination.

You have the opportunity at the start of today to break the cycle worry in your life. So, stop worrying and start praying.

Even if your circumstances don’t change after prayer, you will have changed towards them.

Matthew 6:25-27, 34 ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Pastor Mark

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