Sunday, 8 August 2021
Title: How not to be anxious?
By Elder Yu Chin Shie
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ESV
The apostle Paul, the author of the book of Philippians, has every good reason to be anxious. At the time he wrote the book, he was under house arrest in Rome, awaiting for his trial with a high possibility of it ending in execution. His beloved friends in Philippi were at odds with one another (Phil 4:1-3) and there were preachers in Rome jealous of him and trying to get him into trouble (Phil 1:15).
Despite his circumstances, Paul’s dominant theme in the letter of Philippians is “Joy”. The key verse of the book is “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (4:4)
Paul evidently has found the secret of overcoming anxiety. Let’s learn from him (through inspiration of God) so that we know how not to be anxious.
The first thing we are told is “Not to be anxious!”. Notice it is a command of the Lord that we should not be anxious. It is not easy as most of us will admit. However, if we are told to do so, we can be assured God will enable us to overcome anxiety by His Holy Spirit.
The antidote of anxiety is PRAYER. Paul’s admonition is not to worry about ANYTHING but pray about EVERYTHING. We are inclined to pray about the “big things” that bothers us, like financial worries, job security, relationship and health issues. Here we are told to pray about everything. There is nothing too “small” that God our Heavenly Father is not interested to hear from us and willing to help us. What is of concern to us is of concern to God. In fact, He knows what you need before you ask Him. (Matthew 6:8)
We are told to bring our concerns and anxieties to God through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving.
Prayer is talking to God. Generally, when we approach God in prayer, we start with worship, adoration and thanksgiving. Whenever we find ourselves filled with anxiety, our first action should be to spend time with God in prayerful worship and adoration. As we meditate on God’s greatness and majesty, we are reminded that whatever problems or anxieties we have, God is big enough to deal with it. We also thank God for what He has done for us in the past.
Having spent time with God in worship and thanksgiving, we are ready to move on to supplication where we begin to make known our requests to God.
We must take note that God may not necessarily remove the problems that cause our anxiety. However, He promises a peace which surpasses all understanding. This peace is beyond our ability to understand or to explain. Therefore, it must be experienced. Jesus said in John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
However, there is a condition to receiving this peace that surpasses all understanding. We must be IN CHRIST JESUS. For those who are anxious and fearful under current Covid pandemic situation and have been affected in one way or another, I like to appeal to you to put your trust in Jesus to experience His peace that will sustain you and see you through this difficult time.
Thank you for reminding us not to be anxious. Instead, to bring before you our anxieties in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. Even though you may choose not to solve the problem immediately, we thank you for your promise to give us the peace of God that surpasses all understanding.
In Jesus name,
星期日 2021 年 8 月 8 日
腓立比书 4:6-7 应当一无挂虑，只要凡事借着祷告、祈求和感谢，将你们所要的告诉神。神所赐出人意外的平安，必在基督耶稣里保守你们的心怀意念。
腓立比书的作者使徒保罗有充足的理由焦虑。在他写这本书的时候，他正在罗马被软禁，等待他的审判，很有可能以处决告终。他在腓立比的摯友们意见相左（腓立比书 4:1-3），罗马的传道人嫉妒他并试图让他陷入困境（腓立比书 1:15）。
焦虑的解药是祷告。保罗的告诫是不要为任何事情担心，而是为一切祷告。我们倾向于为困扰我们的“大事”祷告，例如财务问题、工作保障、人际关系和健康问题。在这里，我们被告知要为一切祈祷。没有什么是太“小”了，我们的天父上帝很感兴趣听到我们的声音并愿意帮助我们。我们所关心的，就是上帝所关心的。事实上，在你问祂之前，祂就知道你需要什么了。 （马太福音 6:8）
我们必须注意，上帝不一定会消除引起我们焦虑的问题。然而，他应许了一种超越所有理解的和平。这种平安是我们无法理解或解释的。因此，必须经历。耶稣在约翰福音 14 章 27 节说：“我留下平安给你们；我将我的平安赐给你们。我所赐的，不像世人所赐的。你们心里不要忧愁，也不要胆怯。”