The Guarding Peace – Do Not Be Anxious About Anything

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 The YouTruth in Philippians 4: 6-7

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

So many things can cause anxiety. I’m sure you can recount situations or circumstances that created anxiety for you. You may even experience anxiety today. God has a prescription for the ailment of anxiety that has three equally important ingredients—prayer, petition, and thanksgiving.

It starts with thanksgiving. This can be the hardest part when you’re feeling anxious! But this is what makes the rest of it work. The one thing you can know for certain is that God loves you immensely. He sent His Son to die for you after all. In this grand love for you, God is always working to bring about what is best for you. It’s always good to remember that God exists eternally outside of the confines of time. Therefore, in every case of anxiety you face, He has already worked out what is best for you in your current situation (and for every future situation you will ever face)! It’s already done!

Armed with a state of thanksgiving all that is left to do is to talk to God about what is happening. Don’t hold anything back! He can handle it! Ask Him for things. Ask Him to take the anxiety away. Ask, ask, ask, all the while thanking Him for already having it all worked out.

When using these three ingredients together, not only does God take away the anxiety, He does you one better. He replaces it with a piece of Himself—the  peace  of Himself. You will recognize it right away because, though you will experience it, you won’t be able to understand it. It will come directly from eternity and will deliver you to an eternal peace that is out of this world.

Are you feeling anxious today? Try God’s remedy right away!

He Who Began A Good Work In You

No matter where we are in our lives, no matter what lessons we’ve learned, no matter how faithful we’ve been to God, one thing shows up in every honest self-assessment – we’re not perfect; God still has work left to do in us. But progress in this work is not automatic. In order for the work to continue, we’ve got to let God in to do it.

“…being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 1:6 (NIV)

When Paul wrote this letter to the Philippians, he was confident that God was in the middle of something big. A good work was underway. If Paul were to come to us today we would hope that he would see the same work happening in us. Let’s ask a few questions and use Paul’s evaluation of the Philippian situation to do a spiritual checkup of our own.

How do we know God is at work?

Because we share in God’s grace (Philippians 1:7) If we have secured eternal life by God’s grace through faith in Jesus, God is automatically at work, changing us from the inside out by the power of His indwelt Holy Spirit. (If you’re not sure about this part in your own life click here to read “For God So Loves You.”)

Because our love abounds (Philippians 1:9) Abounding love, love that spills out of Spirit-filled hearts onto anyone and everyone around us is the greatest evidence of God at work. Paul prayed that the Philippians’ love “may abound more.” This tells us that abounding love was present (God had begun a good work) and that God would work to produce even more (God was continuing this work). Paul’s prayer also makes clear that the Philippians have to open themselves to the work God is doing. It works like this—car repairmen asked to repair a rough-running engine can do nothing without being allowed to work on anything inside the car itself. Likewise, God can do nothing in us unless we  allow God access to the internal parts that need the work.

What is the work that God has started?

First, it is important to understand that there are two types of work being done – the work being done in us and the work being done through us. In God’s masterful way, work He does in us always results in work He does through us. Let’s go through some of the work done in us Paul mentioned.

Increasing knowledge and discernment (Philippians 1:9)

The more we know the truth, the more we will be able to figure out, from all the options available to us, which ones are God-initiated and which ones aren’t.

Reducing fear when others oppose us (Philippians 1:28)

The more we remember that the cause of Christ is sure, the more peace and security we experience when we face opposition.

Increasing humility (Philippians 2:3)

Humility is the key to following God. Increasing humility forces out pride, keeping us from supplanting God’s plans with our own.

The work God does in us accomplishes one central thing. It makes us more like Jesus (Philippians 2:5-10). When we become like Jesus, we become brightly shining lights (Philippians 2:15). This is where the work done in us becomes the work done through us.  Here’s how it works. The Holy Spirit that dwells in the hearts of believers is a brightly shining light that reveals God’s grace and truth to the darkened world around us. The dark filter of indiscretion (lack of knowledge and discernment) dims this light. The dark filter of fear in the face of opposition dims this light. The dark filter of pride dims this light. With light that is dim, we look like everyone else in the world and have no real testimony to offer. When these filters get cleared away, we shine like stars!

Shining in our boldness; preaching the Gospel without reservation (Philippians 1:27).

Shining in selflessness; considering the needs of others before our own (Philippians 2:3-4).

Shining in abounding love (Philippians 1:9).


How do we know God will carry on and complete His work?

Because His work is done for His good purpose (Philippians 2:13). God has only eternal purposes that last forever and are never changing. His good purpose is that all would come to know Him and enter into eternal life in His Kingdom. He will continue to work to this good purpose until Christ returns to rule over the New Heaven and the New Earth.

Look around.

Are there those around you who do not know Him? Then there is still bright shining work to do. Has Jesus come to rule over the New Heaven and the New Earth? (At this writing the answer is no.) Then there is still bright shining work to do. God’s faithfulness is great (Lamentations 3:22-23). He will be faithful to complete this work in us and through us if we will let Him. That’s the truth.

You can be confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will continue that work in you so that He may do ever more good work through you that you may become a bright shining light for His good purpose.

That’s the YouTruth – He Who Began A Good Work In You.

You Are God’s Workmanship

When we look at a little baby, we often marvel at God’s workmanship, how He can put together tiny little fingers and toes, bright eyes and precious smiles. It is beautiful and wonderfully made by God indeed! We need to remember that this is only phase one of God’s workmanship. Without phase two, phase one dies.

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Phillipians 2:10 (NIV)

When we look at a little baby, we often marvel at God’s workmanship, how He can put together tiny little fingers and toes, bright eyes and precious smiles. It is beautifully and wonderfully made by God, indeed (see Psalm 139:13-14)! The marvelous work we see in a newborn is only the first of two phases of God’s workmanship, and sadly, the first phase faces eventual destruction if the second phase does not take place. It is this second phase of God’s workmanship that Paul refers to in our passage above. You see, as innocent as the gurgles and coos of an infant can be, there still underlies a sinful nature that will have to be dealt with if God is going to do any true, lasting workmanship at all.

I’ve got some bad news and some good news… (see Ephesians 2:1-4)
This is a true bad news/good news story. The bad news is that when we are born, we not yet God’s true workmanship.  We are simply the physical raw materials God will use as instruments of His love and peace once He has crafted us into the people He plans for us to be. And there is a problem. In Paul’s letter, he shares a harsh reality with the Ephesians – they were all dead. This may have come as a shock to many of them. It may come as a shock to many of us if we hear such an evaluation of our state of being. Having a pulse, breathing, moving, thinking, feeling has nothing to do with life from God’s perspective. To God, if we have sin we are separated by that sin from Him. If we are separated from God, we are dead. Pure and simple. If we accept breathing and thinking as life-defining measures, we disqualify ourselves from becoming God’s workmanship. God can’t do His workmanship on a dead person, whether they think they are dead or not. This is the bad news.

Enter God’s Grace (see Ephesians 2:4-9)
Here’s the Good News: God knew that we would be born sinners, so He planned right from the beginning, out of His great love for us, to make a way for us to become alive. It is by His Grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Paul was careful to explain an important fact about God’s Grace: it does not come from us; it is a gift. We accept His gift through faith in Jesus, and in this gift, we are made alive. Now God has something to work with. This is the very Good News!

(If you are not sure that you have accepted the gift of God’s Grace, see “For God So Loves You” now!)

The Potter, the Clay, His Workmanship (see Isaiah 64:8)
When we become alive, we become like softened clay to a potter, pliable and yielding to the work of the potter’s hands. Have you ever watched a potter spin his work on a potter’s wheel? It is precise work that takes a great deal of kneading and pressing to shape the formless lump of clay into the shape the potter intends. It is hard work. It takes a lot of force, especially in the beginning. So it is with our potter, God, and His clay, us. When we become God’s workmanship, we are subjecting ourselves to sometimes uncomfortable molding and shaping, especially as God begins His work. But as we continue to yield to the guidance of His hands, we will become more and more the useful implement He intends for us to be. Think about it – a lump of clay is of no use in it’s original form. But after the lump is formed, glazed, fired, and finished it is a vase, a bowl, a cup, it is a beautiful, purposeful piece. So what is God forming us to do?

Good Works (as in our passage, Ephesians 2:10; also see Romans 9:21)
Paul further explains that God’s workmanship is about good works. Not any good works. Not good works we may choose for ourselves. Not good works done with ulterior motives in mind. No, we are God’s workmanship to do those good works God has prepared in advance for us to do. You see, God is an all-seeing God. Before we were even born, God had works in mind for us. He knew exactly what good works would advance His Kingdom in the place we would be at the time we became His workmanship. He’s got it all worked out. He’s had it all worked out for a long time. That’s the truth.

You are beautifully and wonderfully made by God’s first phase of work. Without God’s second phase of work you are dead in your sinful nature. If you are dead, God can’t complete His work in you. If you come alive by His grace through your faith in Jesus Christ, God will complete His work in you. You will then become His beautiful and purposeful workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, to do good works which He prepared in advance for you to do. 

That’s the YouTruth  You Are God’s Workmanship.