Winning Over Worry
“Be careful For Nothing” Philippians 4:6
Worry and care are frequent lodgers in our minds and hearts. They come in uninvited and bring with them so much disorder and distress, and not infrequently, depression of spirit. Must they remain or can they be put to flight? The Lord gives a very clear command: “Be careful (full of care) for nothing” (Philippians 4:6). The literal meaning is, ‘be full of care for not even one thing’. Does this mean we are never to have a concern for anything? Just be carefree and easy-going all the time?
God doesn’t prohibit us engaging in legitimate care or concern, such as Paul had when he spoke of: “that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches” (2 Corinthians 11:28). But there is a wrong kind of care – a sinful, carking care that causes so much anxiety. It’s the type Martha had when the Lord Jesus told her she was “careful (full of care) and troubled about many things” (Luke 10:41). The seeds of this care brought her a harvest of discontentment and disappointment. While the affairs of life are not to be left to negligence or uncertainty, we must not allow them to put our hearts in a state of upheaval. The Saviour warned his own disciples of just how injurious to the soul “the cares of this life” can be (Luke 21:34).
What then is the prevention and cure of such a state? Remember the words, “He careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7). How great and gracious is this promise! The God of unerring knowledge, everlasting love, and almighty power says this! The One who knows us, loves us and makes all things work together for our good. This truth alone brings a calm to a perplexed mind and an anxiety-torn heart. The very same verse that reveals this promise tells us we are to cast our care upon Him. This is where we so often fail. We try to manage the cares that our heavenly Father and Friend is willing and ready to take upon Himself. We keep them to ourselves, and walk ill at ease, when we could and should be walking in the comfort of the Holy Ghost.
To cast our care upon the Lord is to experience spiritually, what the people who ‘cast’ their garments upon the colt on which Christ would ride into Jerusalem, experienced physically. Those garments were no longer on their backs or in their hands. There was now a distance between them and their garments. Hannah did just this when “she poured out [her] soul before the Lord” in prayer and “her countenance was no more sad” (1 Samuel 1:15,18). In prayer, she unburdened her trouble filled heart, casting her care upon the Lord. She no longer held on to that which distressed her and robbed her of peace of mind.
We must make sure that we cast ALL our care upon Him – that means every thing that would trigger worry in our hearts. He knows our needs and He delights in hearing us tell Him about that which makes us anxious. Let us learn to turn everything that is a subject of anxiety into a subject of prayer.
Rev. Leslie Curran