BE NOT ANXIOUS
Thursday Evening Bible Study
By: Marvin Chisholm
February 29, 2024
PHILIPPIANS 3:6, 7 – “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.”
We are living in a day when our minds and souls are being bombarded by newscasts that are on twenty-four hours a day. We see doom and gloom on every hand. Not only are we hearing about wars and rumors of wars in other places of the world, but now in our own country, we are living in areas where there is a real crisis. We have an open border in the south where felons, drug dealers, rapist, terrorists, smugglers, murders, and who knows what else, come boldly into our country. And, what makes it even worse, we have a government in Washington D C (Dis-functional City) that really does not seem to care.
We are also dealing with a run-away inflation that affects the life of everyone, especially families with small children struggling to meet their needs. Elderly living on a fixed income are also feeling the crunch.
We could go on and on naming things that cause us anxiety. What we need to do is not let those things overcome us. There are things that we have control over and things that we do not. We need to take care of things we can, by providing for our families as best we can. We need to be good citizens that pay our taxes. We need to live as peacefully as possible with everyone.
The dictionary’s definition of “worry” is to cause to feel anxious, distressed, or troubled.
Jesus says that we should not worry in Matthew 6:25-34.
Jesus says to us in verse 25, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” He puts this admonition in the form of a question to get our attention. He wants us to see what is really important in our lives. Then He says, verse 26 - “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” He shows how well God the Father takes care of the smallest things in His creation. And again, with a question, He implies, how much more are you valuable to Him?
Jesus asks in verse 27, “Which of you by worrying can add any height to your body? “ That is something that we all know is impossible. He is telling us that worrying is a waste of time.
Jesus goes on to tell us that even the flowers of the field are taken care of by Him. They don’t have to toil to grow or flourish, yet they are better arrayed than King Solomon in all his glory. Verse 30 - “If God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”
Jesus closes this portion of scripture with, verse 31 - “Therefore, do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?, or what shall we drink?” or What shall we wear?” He assures us that our heavenly Father knows exactly what we need.
He gives us the way to overcome worry in verse 33 - “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
There was a Christian gentleman who owned a very nice house. In this house was a den in which he spent his leisure time. Over the fireplace was a wall that he wanted to hang an inspiring painting depicting the feeling of peace and contentment. He began his search for the most competent and talented artist he could find. After several weeks, he finally contacted the one he thought would be the best choice. He explained to the artist that he wanted the painting to give the viewer a feeling of peace and contentment. The artist assured him that this would not be a problem. Two weeks later the artist returned with the completed painting. The gentleman immediately had the painting hung in the place reserved for it. The painting was a scene of a beautiful meadow surrounded by trees. In the middle, a pair of deer with two young fawns grazed on the fresh grass. There were rabbits and squirrels playing near the bubbling stream that ran through the center of the meadow. The sun shown brightly through the white fluffy clouds. There were flowers of every shade of the rainbow scattered though out the meadow, and colorful song birds flew over the trees.
As he stood back and examined the painting, his face formed a look of disappointment. He turned to the artist and told him that the quality and beauty of the painting was outstanding, but it did not portray what he was looking for.
The artist asked him if he could try again. The gentleman agreed. After another two weeks the artist returned with a new painting. The painting was of the same meadow, but in this painting the sky was full of very dark clouds. There were lightning flashes, rain falling, and the wind was blowing. The deer, rabbits, squirrels, and birds could not be found.
As the gentleman stood back to examine the painting, he noticed a small bird down in the lower left corner of the painting. The bird was standing on a small limb of a tree under a sheltering branch above it. The bird was singing joyfully, knowing it was under God’s care.
The gentleman exclaimed, “That’s exactly the feeling I was seeking!”
The choice to worry is up to us, we can let worry control our lives or we can put our full trust in God. Trust in God does not mean that we sit back and do nothing. We are to do our part and God will do the rest as we seek His direction and presence.