We are in a world where everything around us poses worries and concerns. The majority of Christians are so anxious about what will happen next to the extent that it has affected their christian lives.
Some have lost their faith without knowing. They pray but can hardly get the result because of fear of tomorrow.
Arthur Roche, Reader’s Digest [6/88], p. 64). graphically described anxiety as “a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained”
The wise thing is to put away our anxieties but rather approach God with gladness of heart and the wonderful peace of God beyond human comprehension shall guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Who wrote Philippians 4:6-7 and when was it written?
The book of Philippians 4:6-7 was written by Apostle Paul. It was written in the mid-50s to early 60s CE.
What is the context of Philippians 4?
The context of Philippians 4:6-7 is about the exhortation of Paul to the Philippians about unity and righteousness. He also uses the opportunity to express appreciation for their generosity towards him.
This is the last chapter of Paul’s Letter to the Philippians. It is a review of what he had already taught the people in the previous chapters.
The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” ( Philippians 4 verse 9 )
Apostle Paul spent quality time imparting the doctrines of good Christianity practice to the people in the first three chapters of the book, that is why his first statement here is,
“Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.” ( Philippians 4 verse 1 )
He urged them to stand firm in the lord and be in unity so they can help themselves. Paul made mention of some of them to buttress his message.
He implores Euodia and Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord and also urges someone he referred to as a true companion, to help those women who labored with him in the gospel, Clement also, and the rest of his fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.
Psalm 133 verses 1 and 2 says,
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments. ”
Paul encourages his audience to be anxious for nothing but rather fill their hearts with joy. He encourages them to always present their requests with thanksgiving and there is no way one can be thankful without being joyful.
The word rejoice was reiterated to emphasize the importance of joy in our walk with God “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice”.
The joy he was talking about is the real and lasting joy that originated deep within our hearts irrespective of our situations and circumstances.
Habakkuk 3 verses 17 to 19 talks about this type of joy,
“Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls. Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills.”
Above all, the people were admonished to guard their hearts with the utmost care, to think about whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, and whatever things that glorify God.
Paul gave specific thanks to the Philippians for their support and generosity, referring to how they showed him love and support.
In his message, no other church shared with him concerning giving and receiving except them, when he departed from Macedonia, Even in Thessalonica, they sent him aid once and again.
He concluded the book with a deep-hearted priestly blessing.
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. ( Philippians 4 verse 19 )
What is the message of Philippians 4:6-7?
The message of Philippians 4:6-7 taught us to control our anxiety but to trust God in our prayers and thanksgiving.
The statement be anxious for nothing is a command from the word of God. When God said Be, He has empowered us to do that which He commands. Anxiety is a demonstration of a lack of faith in His Word.
We are encouraged not to worry about anything, but rather to pray boldly about everything. Present your specific requests humbly before Him, thanking Him for all He has done and what He is about to do.
A quick antidote for anxiety is our weapon of faith. This weapon of faith has to be utilized as we approach God in prayers.
Mark 11 verses 23 and 24,
“For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”
How do we discard our anxious thoughts? The answer is simple. By the prayer of faith with thanksgiving. This kind of prayer is what a true believer should pray for in all difficult situations.
Praying to God with thanksgiving reveals our total confidence that God is faithful and He can answer our prayers. Sometimes our concerns look so big that we are overwhelmed and lose focus on God.
The word of God came to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 32 verse 27,
“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?”
God is too faithful to fail. Once you submit everything to Him, His promise of peace that is beyond human understanding will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Ignore all your apprehensions, focus on God. He will not let you down.
“Be anxious for nothing,” meaning
“Be anxious for nothing,” means do not worry about anything.
This is a call from God to all believers to be calm about worldly concerns. It is one of the scriptural commands concerning our emotions and thoughts of fear and uncertainties.
This is practically difficult or what might be impossible looking at the numerous challenges staring at the faces of Christians today.
We all need the help of God, He is the only person that can give peace to the human mind in the midst of worries.
In Matthew 6 verse 34, Jesus told His disciples,
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
We must strive to get to the level where everything seems secondary to us while we see the kingdom as our priority for living.
This is what Paul referred to in Philippians 3 verses 7 to 8,
“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”
He mentioned there is nothing worth comparing to knowing Jesus and called anything that is lost at the expense of gaining Christ rubbish.
The good news is we have a good father who cares about us and what we are passing through.
“but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” meaning
“but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” means we should present our demands to God with thanksgiving.
Some believers will say God already knows my requests, I don’t need to pray.
Truly He knows, but He needs our participation. A closed mouth is a close destiny. It is those that ask that receive.
James 4 verses 2 to 3,
“You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
The point of interest in this phrase is a demand of thanksgiving as a catalyst for our requests to be acceptable. The easiest access to God’s presence is through thanksgiving and praise.
Thanksgiving is giving God thanks for what He has done, who He is, and what He is about to do. Any request made to Him without thanksgiving cannot receive His attention.
Psalm 110 verse 4 says
“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.”
Rather than being anxious about anything, pray to God about everything.
“and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,” meaning
and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,” means having peace during troubles.
The original Greek word for peace is Eiréné, which is defined by Strong’s Concordance in english word as “one, peace, quietness, or rest”. The peace of God is what gives quietness and rest amid storms.
For a lot of people, peace is simply the absence of conflict. There is peace in the world and there is peace of God.
The peace in the world depends on events and conditions. It comes in when things are going well, then disappears when the situations go awkward.
The peace of God has nothing to do with the absence of struggles. It flows naturally during our battles which is why it is termed the peace that surpasses human understanding.
Jesus made a clear distinction between His peace and the world’s peace in John 14 verse 27,
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
The Peace of God that exceeds all understanding does not emanate from having everything work out as we desire, it rather comes from knowing that whatever situation we find ourselves in, our joy remains unshakeable for our victory lies in Jesus Christ and not in our situations.
“will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus,” meaning
“will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus means will protect your hearts and thoughts.
God’s care about the condition of our hearts is dominant in both the old testament and the new testament. The word heart occurs more than 800 times in the holy bible. Our hearts are the spiritual processor of our lives. Everything originated from the heart.
Proverbs 4 verse 23 New International Version says,
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
As Christians, the best thing we can do is to protect our hearts through the help of Christ. We must be conscious of what goes in, as the word of God above says everything we do comes from there.
What is the difference in biblical translations of Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV, KJV, NIV & ESV)?
Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV biblical translation “Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7 KJV biblical translation “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7 NIV biblical translation “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.”
Philippians 4:6-7 ESV biblical translation “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.”
Be anxious in NKJV is replaced by Be careful in KJV. Anxious means to be restless while careful means to be watchful. Both of them mean to be worried.
But in every situation in NIV is replaced by but in everything in ESV. Every situation means all states or conditions while everything means all. Both of them mean at all times.
Petition in NIV is replaced by supplication in ESV. These two words can be used interchangeably. They have the same meaning.
Transcends in NIV is replaced by surpasses in ESV. These two words can be used interchangeably. They have the same meaning.
The two phrases mean a state of incapability.
Way out in NIV is replaced by way of escape in ESV, which both means an act of breaking free from confinement.
However, the four translations have the same meaning.
How do I apply Philippians 4:6-7 to my life?
Applying Philippians 4:6-7 to my life is to look unto God, not my problems.
The smallest of God is bigger than the greater of the problems of this world. Sometimes things might be going in different directions and we feel our own strength or human wisdom will produce positive effects.
The only way is to come under the throne of grace. Approach your heavenly father in prayers.
He will take over our problems now and burden of the future, only if we look unto Him and present them to Him in prayers.
In the end, He gives unexplainable, but undeniable peace that will turn us into the envy of our world.
What is Philippians 4:6-7 prayer?
Faithful Father, I believe you know the end from the beginning and you have the whole world in your hand. I lay my worries and burdens before you, for you know all things and all power belongs to you. Help me to trust in you even in difficult times and grant me perfect peace in my soul. AMEN.
We must leave all of our anxieties behind and focus on what pertains to God. The best way is to take pleasure in the things of God, He will also take pleasure in your things. He will not allow anything to scratch you.
Matthew 6 verse 33 says,
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you
Throw away the lack of trust and lack of confidence. Put God at center of your life.
You do only one thing, God does every other thing. The peace of God will protect you from becoming overwhelmed by difficulties.