Anxious: worried, fretful, fearful, frightened
Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
The Greek language from which the translation came for “Be careful for nothing” says “In nothing be anxious.” This is a command to not worry, fret, or be afraid. Jesus said “Take no thought” which in the Greek means “Be not anxious.”
Matthew 6:25-34 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Jesus says none of us can add to our stature (height) by worrying. He meant “what are you fretting for?” when he said “why take ye though for raiment?” He said to not take any thought for tomorrow, or don’t be anxious and worry about it. If we’re worrying and fretting about things, we have not given that trial to God’s control. He has control over everything. God wants us to trust him and to walk by faith no matter how things go. The devil has access to our feelings and can get us to feel any way. That’s why it’s important to walk by faith. If we’re worrying or anxious, we don’t have the perfect peace God us to have.
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
If we’re worried we won’t pray like God wants us to pray. If we don’t give everything to God in prayer, our prayer will be a self-centered prayer and not a God-centered prayer. Jesus said not to allow our heart to be troubled, but to believe.
John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
Fear comes with worry but Jesus says he wants us to have the same kind of peace he has. Jesus was sleeping in the ship when the storm was tossing the ship. If we’re fretting and worrying, we’re trying to take control of our situations instead of giving them to God. We have to give them to God and let go of them into his control.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Paul said “by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known.” Prayer here means that we’re worshipping God for who he is, how great he is, and not just begging for his help. Jehoshaphat feared but he set himself to seek God. He recognized God’s greatness and strength in his prayer and was worshipping God.
II Chronicles 20:1-6 It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle. Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria…And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast…And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the Lord: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord. And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation…in the house of the Lord, before the new court, And said, O Lord God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?
Jehoshaphat acknowledged God’s greatness and his promises, not telling God how to do anything.
II Chronicles 20:7-9 Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever? And they dwelt therein, and have built thee a sanctuary therein for thy name, saying, If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help.
We need to keep our eyes on God and come to him like Jehoshaphat, not knowing what to do but asking for his direction.
II Chronicles 20:11-12 Behold, I say, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of thy possession, which thou hast given us to inherit. O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.
The prophet told them that God said to not be afraid or dismayed (discouraged) because the battle was God’s.
II Chronicles 20:15 And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
The people believed what the prophet said regardless of the enemy that they could see. The enemy wants to take our joy and peace by getting us to fear. Even before the battle Jehoshaphat and the people believed God, so they were encouraged and praising God. God wants us to keep the peace of God in our heart so we sing and praise God when we’re facing a battle.
II Chronicles 20:19-21 And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with a loud voice on high. And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever.
God wants us to be a happy people with joy and peace, but we have to cast our problems on God. Jehoshaphat and the people didn’t have to fight. All they did was sing and praise God, then the enemy destroyed each other.
II Chronicles 20:22-23 And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abneggo were confident in God and trusted him. Their life wasn’t more important to them – they wouldn’t sin to save their life. God was more important and he delivered them (Daniel 3:14-28).
Psalm 112:7-8 He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord. His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.
Our prayer needs to be with worship and earnestness, not lighthearted but serious and specific. Jesus was earnest when he prayed in the garden at Gethsamane (Matthew 26:36-39). God told Jeremiah that there’s nothing too hard for him.
Jeremiah 32:26-27 Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah, saying, Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?
God reassured Jeremiah when he was in prison to call on him and he would show him great and mighty things.
Jeremiah 33:1-3 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the prison, saying, Thus saith the Lord the maker thereof, the Lord that formed it, to establish it; the Lord is his name; Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
When you pray, claim promises and let God know that you know he will help when you go through trials. God said to fear not, that he would be with us when we walk through the fire (fiery trials) and they won’t burn us.
Isaiah 43:1-2 But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
God said to not fear, that he will strengthen and help us.
Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
God said to not fear because he will hold our hand and help us.
Isaiah 41:13 For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
God prospered Isaac so the Philistines of the land envied him. When Isaac’s servants dug wells and the Philistines gave them trouble, they didn’t fight with them but they just moved on. God assured them he would bless them when they trusted him. When the enemy tries to make us anxious, we need to give the trial to God and know he will help us.
Genesis 26:11-24 And Abimelech charged all his people, saying, He that toucheth this man or his wife shall surely be put to death. Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him. And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great: For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him. For all the wells which his father’s servants had digged in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped them, and filled them with earth. And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we. And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar…And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them. And Isaac’s servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water. And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac’s herdmen, saying, The water is ours: and he called the name of the well Esek; because they strove with him. And they digged another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitnah. And he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, For now the Lord hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land. And he went up from thence to Beersheba. And the Lord appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake.
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)