Fear And Anxiety
Two of the devices (II Cor. 2:11) Satan tries to use in the lives of believers are fear and anxiety. Fear is the response to a specific threat or danger that is current or in the present time. On the other hand, anxiety is the unpleasant feelings of dread, uneasiness, or worry about general events in the future that are expected or anticipated to be threatening or dangerous. These become sinful when they become more important than God, or allowed to keep the believer from obeying God. They then become doubt or unbelief, but God has an answer for them in Philippians 4:4-7.
REJOICE IN THE LORD
“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say rejoice” (Phil. 4:4). God is commanding believers to be rejoicing in the Lord at all times and in all places. This is not just when things are going well, or just going through the motions of rejoicing, but it is saying it should come from the heart of believers, even if they do not feel like it, as a sacrifice of praise (Heb. 13:15).
It does not say to rejoice in the circumstances, but “in the Lord,” because of who He is, and what He did on the Cross, regardless of the circumstances. This certainly would be easy under good circumstances, but harder in difficult situations. However, God is still God no matter what is going on. That is when expressing gladness in the Lord becomes an act of faith for how He is going to manifest His grace in the future. Believers cannot be worrying and anxious about the future and rejoicing in the Lord at the same time. So it becomes a choice of where they will put their faith: in God or in circumstances.
THE LORD IS AT HAND
“Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand” (Phil. 4:5).
This means to allow the gentleness, patience, fairness, kindness, and meekness that God alone can produce in believers by His Spirit (Gal. 5:22) be shown to everyone because they no longer have to defend, assert, or fight for their own interests. They don’t have to take things into their own hands because God is near and in control, which means He is close, involved, and helping (Ps. 46:1), so they can allow Him to handle things. It also means that He is coming—the rapture is near—so believers have a totally different perspective about problems in their lives. They see them in the light of eternity and not just this temporary life. This affects how they see and react to everything.
LET YOUR REQUESTS BE MADE KNOWN
“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Phil. 4:6).
Since God commands it in Christ, it is possible to not be overly concerned, worried, or anxious about anything or anyone. That means that as believers seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness (Matt. 6:33), through faith in who Christ is, and what He did on the Cross, He will supply all their needs (Phil. 4:19), that are expressed by prayer (asking for general things), supplication (requesting specific things), and giving thanks for things previously received by grace through faith. In doing so, they admit they cannot do what needs to be done and are trusting that God can.
THE PEACE OF GOD
“And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7).
Then God gives the peace that only comes from Him (Jn. 14:27) as the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22) which is a rest, quietness, tranquility, security, safety, and absence of rage and war. Since it is miraculous and supernatural, it cannot be produced or understood by man. It does not ignore the reality, but supercedes any remedy man can produce. It protects from being negatively impacted by anxiety or fear that comes from any ungodly source. Again, this can only be done as the Holy Spirit is allowed to work because of a believer’s faith in who Christ is and what He did on the Cross.