Art Toombs Ministries

Online Bible Commentary

The Antidote for Stress




Philippians 4:5bThe Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (NKJV)

 




The Apostle Paul is writing to the church at Philippi. Therefore these are God’s words to Christians. These promises do not apply to unbelievers. God does not hear the prayers of unbelievers unless they are reaching out to him for salvation. 

This passage is the antidote for stress. God, through the presence of the Holy Spirit, is always “at hand”, always near (v. 5b). In fact God, the Holy Spirit, lives inside every Christian. This is why Christians can even think our prayers and He will hear them. 

Because God is always near we should “be anxious for nothing” (v. 6a). God does not want Christians to worry. Anxiousness leads to worry. As soon as we start to feel anxious about something we should immediately give that concern to the Lord through “prayer and supplication” (v. 6b). The word “supplication” is a big word that simply means to ask for something from God for ourselves. 

We ask for God to take this anxiety away from us, and may His will be done in that particular situation. A good way to remember this is by the saying “let go – and let God.” 

This does not mean that we should not do anything about our problems. It means that we should do all that we can, but then we should “let go” and leave the results up to God. We cannot control results. Stress comes from worrying about something that we cannot control. 

The Bible says to pray continuously. So we can give our concerns to God frequently throughout the day. When we pray we should thank God (v. 6c) in advance for what He’s going to do because it is always God’s will to bless us. As with any prayer, we should pray with conviction, claiming the victory. 

When you give “everything” to God “by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving”, “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”. He will give you His peace about that situation.  

God may answer our prayers differently than what we asked for, but whatever the answer we know that His will is what’s best for us. God can answer yes, no, or wait. We all like “yes”, and we should always remember to immediately thank the Lord for His blessing. 

The “no” is hard to take but we should, again, be thankful to God. He will always open another door. It may not be in our timing, but His timing is perfect. God never closes a door without opening another. We just have to be observant of things. We may not like the new door at first, but we should walk through it in faith. Faith means to believe that God is trustworthy. We should trust Him. 

The “wait” can be frustrating, and we can keep praying until the answer is clear. But I’m reminded of the song “Thank God for Unanswered Prayers.” God always knows what’s around the next corner or over the next hill, but we don’t. Looking back, I’m very grateful that God has not answered some of my prayers. 

When you give your concerns to the Lord visualize lifting them off your shoulders and laying them at the feet of God. This will take a great weight off of you. You will feel the stress lifting. Do not make the mistake of taking them back. Leave them permanently with God. In exchange God will give you peace about those matters. That’s a pretty good trade!