WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 30, 2021
TOPIC: BE ANXIOUS FOR NOTHING
BY T. O. BANSO
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6 New King James Version).
As you read this message, there is the likelihood that you’re anxious about something. It could be directly about you or someone close to you. And it could be about something that has happened or you fear could happen. Maybe you’re anxious about your health, marriage, children, health, finances, examinations, or just about something.
Most human beings, if not all, are guilty of anxiety. It’s evident in our speeches and behavior. Sometimes, when some people don’t show anxiety about something as we do, we could label them as unserious! So being anxious shows we are serious! But anxiety is not a sign of seriousness. Rather, it shows our condition is serious or could be critical if we don’t deal with our anxiety!
The apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:6, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (New King James Version). Anxiety is another word for worry. Instead of the phrase “be anxious for nothing”, the King James Version uses the phrase “be careful for nothing.” The Greek word translated “be careful for nothing” is merimnao. It means to be anxious about (Strong’s Concordance).
Don’t be anxious about anything. Don’t let anything make you worry. The New Living Translation renders Philippians 4:6 thus: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”
It is natural for human beings to worry about what they don’t know, what is troubling them or affects them, problems or situations confronting them or others close to them, issues they are trying to find solutions to or defying solutions, and so on. As we have seen in the second part of Philippians 4:6, the antidote to anxiety or worry is prayer with thanksgiving. Paul said, “But in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6b New King James Version).
What would be the consequence of our prayer? Immediately after saying we shouldn’t be anxious or worry, Paul said in verse 7, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (New King James Version). The New Living Translation puts it this way: “If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Avoid anxiety; rather, take everything to God in prayer. Be a person of prayer. Faith and prayer go together. It takes faith to pray; those who have faith in God demonstrate it by praying to Him. “So Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive’” (Matthew 21:21-22 New King James Version).
In Luke 18:1-8, Jesus told a parable to teach a lesson that men ought always to pray, and not to faint. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Keep on praying” (New Living Translation). Instead of worry, the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7). When you pray and thank God, the peace of God will fill your heart and worry will disappear. The situation or what is causing you to worry may not have changed but you have changed!
If you notice that you are worried about something, pray about it and thank God. Pray in faith. The more you pray about something, the less you worry. And the less you pray, the more you worry. 1 Peter 5:7 says to cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. The Greek word translated care is merimna. It means care, anxiety (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon).
God cares for you more than you care for yourself. Therefore, you don’t need to worry but pray to Him concerning whatever gives you concern or worries you. “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7 New King James Version). Psalm 37:5-6 says, “Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday” (New King James Version). As you pray, the light will take over from darkness. Hope will dismiss despair.
Cultivate the discipline of praying instead of worrying. Cast all your cares upon the Lord. Anxiety solves no problem. Worry is unhelpful. It can’t stop whatever will happen. It is a waste of time. “Then He said to His disciples, ‘Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?” (Luke 12:22-26 New King James Version).
Jesus continued, “Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?” (Luke 12:27-28 New King James Version).
Jesus further said we shouldn’t worry over even what to eat or drink. “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you” (verses 29-31 New King James Version). Verse 31 in the New Living Translation says, “He will give you all you need from day to day if you make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.”
Matthew 6:25-34 also records the injunction of Jesus on worry. Verse 34 says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (New International Version).
Worry solves no problem. It doesn’t put food or drink on your table. It doesn’t pay your house rent or mortgage or repair your car. It doesn’t pay your bills. Neither does it heal you or sick relations or friends. As we have read in Luke 12:25, all your worries cannot add a single moment to your life or one cubit to your stature. Worry solves no problem but it could create problems for you. As you work to meet your needs, you or your loved ones receive medical attention or you’re being prayed for, and so on, put your trust in God and cast your burden on Him. Pray. Worry is useless.
Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved” (New King James Version). Similarly, Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit your works to the LORD, and your thoughts will be established” (New King James Version). In other words, “Commit to the LORD all you do, and your plans will be fulfilled” (New English Bible).
Pray about all your needs; don’t worry about anything. God will take care of you and your needs. But be sure you’re not driven by greed or covetousness. “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:5-6 New King James Version).
You could be anxious about something big or small. Or it could be something small that Satan is magnifying, playing on your imagination. How many of the bad things Satan has helped you to imagine would happen eventually happened? Don’t be anxious. Pray and thank God.
Jesus said to Martha, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42 New King James Version). Anxiety will distract you from doing the right thing. Avoid it.
Also, Jesus told His disciples, “Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say” (Luke 12:11-12 New King James Version).
The Holy Spirit is your Helper. Don’t be anxious about tomorrow or the future. That doesn’t mean you should not plan. Plan with the help of the Holy Spirit. Anxiety is not planning; planning is not anxiety.
Be anxious for nothing. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. And thank God for the answer. If something is so important that it worries you, let it become so important that you pray about it. As you do, you’ll overcome worry every time.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, thank You for caring for me more than I could ever. You, the spirit of worry tormenting me, I bind you and cast you out in Jesus’ name. Father, I put my trust in You. I will not be anxious for anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, I will make my requests known to You.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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