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Philippians - Part 21

"The Path To Peace Of Mind - Part 1"

by David Legge | Copyright © 2003 | All Rights Reserved | www.preachtheword.com

'Preach The Word'
I wonder are you a worrier in our gathering today?

Just two verses, verses 6 and 7, and I want to speak to you today on 'The Path To Peace Of Mind', the path to peace of mind. "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus".

Now as we have been travelling through this epistle, we've found that the apostle Paul has been encouraging these Philippian believers to emulate the attitude of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Of course the Lord Jesus is our Saviour, He gives to us, by faith in Him, imputed righteousness. That means that we can never live up to a standard that is acceptable with God in God's holy sight - and therefore in order to be saved and be acceptable with God and enter into God's heaven, Jesus has to give us the righteousness of God by faith. He gives us, if you like, His goodness to get us to God's presence. So we can never, in any sense, really live up to the example of the Lord Jesus - but once you're a Christian, once you're born again, you're given a new life, and the Spirit of God lives within you and enables you by faith to live, we are told, like Christ.

Let us never forget that, that we are Christians - Christ's ones, Christ's followers and disciples - and we are to emulate, by the Spirit, His example. Of course that's what he says in chapter 2 and in verse 5, it is if you like the crux, or the summing up of the whole of this epistle: 'Let this mind', or this attitude, 'be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus'. So whatever was Christ's attitude, that is to be the attitude of the child of God and disciple of the Lord Jesus. If we had time we could look at Galatians chapter 5 and see that the attitude of Christ is to be seen in the believer by what is called the fruit of the Spirit. Now I don't know whether you're familiar with those, but the first three fruit of the Spirit are given in chapter 4 of Philippians. We've been looking at them in past weeks, perhaps you haven't realised it, but in verse 2 Paul beseeches Euodias and Syntyche, two warring factions, sisters in the assembly in Philippi, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. He entreated them to work together, and effectively to love one another, to stop fighting with each other and to love each other. So there is the first fruit of the Spirit: love.

If you look at verse 4, this was our last study: 'Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice' - the second fruit of the Spirit. Love, joy, we're going to look this morning in verse 7 at the third fruit of the Spirit: 'And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus' - peace! Love, joy, peace. Now peace is one of the most precious of all the gifts of the Holy Spirit; so precious that it is the legacy that has been left behind by the Lord Jesus when He was on His way to the cross, resurrected and ascended to heaven, He has left us this great peace that is beyond all comprehension the Bible says. In fact, when the Lord was in the Upper Room in those famous verses in John chapter 14 and verse 27, he said to them: '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'.

If there's anything that this old world is seeking today, whether psychologically or emotionally, or nationally or internationally, it is peace

If there's anything that this old world is seeking today, whether psychologically or emotionally, or nationally or internationally, it is peace. But what I want you to notice as we look at the path to peace of mind from God's perspective today, is that this is not the peace that the world gives or that the world seeks after. This peace is God's peace, God's peace! It's not a peace that springs from your own self internally, whether from your emotion, your heart or even your mind. It's not acquired through psychological somersaults, or the particular disposition of personality and character that you have been born with, or that you acquire in whatever means possible. That's not what we're talking about here, we're talking about a supernatural peace that comes from God outside of humanity.

Let me also say that we're not talking about peace with God. Peace with God comes through the blood of the Lord Jesus that He shed on Calvary, that we may be reconciled to God and have our sins forgiven. Let me say that a prerequisite to know God's peace is to have this peace through the blood of His cross, and if you're not a Christian today and you've been grappling with how to get peace of mind and peace of heart, and tranquillity and peace with yourself and peace with God, that can only happen by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His sacrifice at Calvary. You cannot have God's peace without peace with God. But yet this God's peace is not equated with peace with God, but it is the peace of God Himself. Let that be very clear in your mind: what we're talking about today is God's own calm, God's own restful heart. Whatever that really means, to know God's calm and restful heart as our own personal possession - if you imagine this for a second, it is God filling the human heart with His own divine stillness. It is the peace of God.

Now I hope you're sitting there this morning saying: 'How can I get it? How can this be mine?'. Well there are three things that these verses outline for us, and they're very simple and they all lead to this peace of mind. The first is this: worry about nothing. The second: pray about everything. The third: be thankful for anything. We will find that those three factors in the equation will lead to the peace of God that will guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus.

So let's look at the first today: worry about nothing. Now I want to make this so simple, because the ministry from these two verses is so practical that I don't want us to miss it, I don't want any of us to go away and not really take something with you. What is worry? We need to ask that question right away: what is worry? Now let me say that when Paul says: 'Be careful for nothing', that really what he's saying is: be anxious for nothing, or don't be worried about anything. When it says 'careful' it's a little bit misleading in that translation, because there is a legitimate care and a legitimate concern that we ought to all have about the things of our lives. What Paul is encouraging here is not a lack of carefulness with our lives or our livelihood, not a lack of thoughtfulness, and I think that some of us could be doing with a greater carefulness and thoughtfulness about the way we dress, about the way we look, about the way we discipline ourselves and go about our daily business. Paul is not encouraging us to neglect ourselves, or to be unconcerned in any way with the affairs and the effects of life and its circumstances. What Paul is talking about is excessive carefulness. Excessive carefulness that spills over from a legitimate concern and care, to something that is illegitimate, to something that is excessive and that transgresses into the realm of worry and anxiety.

How do you know when your care and your worry is excessive?

Let me tease it out a little bit more for you. How do you know when your care and your worry is excessive? Well, here's three things to judge it by - first of all, if you're more anxious about what you desire than what God's will is, you're too careful. Many people believe that peace comes when you get what you want, when you get that bank balance that you want, or the car that you want, or the home that you want, or the health that you want, that then peace will come into your life. That is not the case, but the Bible teaches and testifies that the peace of God comes when you seek not what you want, but what God wants. So you are anxious, over careful in your life, if you're striving after your own dreams, imaginations rather than seeking God's will.

The second way that you know when your care is too excessive is when you hurry into hasty and ill-advised situations. When you get into a frenzy, to such an extent that you make decisions quickly and unadvisedly and in the heat of the moment, that is a sign that you are over careful and that you're too anxious and that you worry too much. Isaiah said in Isaiah 28:16: 'He that believeth shall not make haste'. Hurry is part of worry, but to be a careful person that waits on God, you don't need to hurry because God is in no hurry; and God is an eternal being, He's outside of time, and time is not a factor or an issue with God - therefore we need not hurry or make haste in our decisions.

The third way that we can know that our care is over excessive is when we are constantly agitated in a phenomenon of unrest. Do you ever feel like that? Like your insides are convulsing with pins and needles, there's this impulse within you that seems to be taking all life and vitality away from you, and it's this unrest. It's a sign that you're over careful about many many things, and unrest - if anything - is not a characteristic of peace or of faith.

You might say that these three signs of over anxiousness and excessive care could be characteristics of our own society in which we live today - to be more anxious about what you want than what God wants, to hurry and to have haste to make ill-advised decisions, not wait upon God, and thirdly to be constantly agitated and under a phenomenon of unrest. One Chinaman on one occasion was asked to sum up our Western generation, and he summed it up in three words: 'hurry, worry and bury'. It would seem, wouldn't it, that that's a summary of most of our lives? Don't misunderstand Paul here, he's not belittling our problems, he's not saying that you should have no cares at all, that you should just blow it all to the wind, that's not what he's saying - but what he is saying is that what is important in life is what you do with your cares, whether you take your cares upon yourself and try to sort them out by worry and anxiety and excessive carefulness, or whether you cast your care upon God.

What Paul is saying is that anxiety and worry chokes life and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ

If you like, that's the difference between legitimate cares and illegitimate ones - the illegitimate ones are anxiety, worry. F. B. Meyer says, the Bible scholar, that this word 'anxiety' in English comes from the root of 'anger' - 'an', the beginning of 'anxiety', 'an' 'anger' - and the root of it actually refers to the physical act of choking! Isn't that a wonderful picture of worry? You feel you're being choked, that the air is not being able to get to the airways, or that the water is coming over your head and it's going to drown you, and you can't keep your head above the water. What Paul is saying is that anxiety and worry chokes life and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

So I hope we're clear on what worry is and when care is needlessly excessive. But let's answer another question before we go any further: what do we worry about? It's often the way that we can know what worry is: what are the things that we worry about? Well statisticians at the University of Wisconsin in the United States studied this, they came up with this result, that average individual worries can be divided into four different categories and percentages. They say that the first thing, top of them all, people worry about things that never ever happened - not just never happen, but never ever happened and materialised - and that section came to 40% of the people surveyed! Mark Twain, who wasn't a believer, said: 'I am an old man and have had many troubles, most of them never happened'. Isn't that right? We tend to worry more about things that not only never happen, but never ever materialised in our existence.

The second category was people worrying about things that had gone in the past, that had been over and finished, and that could never be changed with all the worry in the world - 30% of people were worrying about those things that were dead and gone, and time couldn't be put back to rectify. The third category was people who worry about petty and needless worries, 20% of those people - silly things, maybe they are legitimate concerns, but where those concerns blow over into excessive anxiety and worry and nervousness. The Swedish proverb put it well when it defined these worries: 'Worry like this gives a small thing a big shadow'. Mountains out of molehills, isn't it?

Then the fourth category, these statisticians in Wisconsin called legitimate worries. They came to only 8%. Let me say, according to the word of God, there are no legitimate worries. It says of Martha in Luke's gospel chapter 10 that she was 'careful', it's the same word, 'anxious' about many things. Maybe they were legitimate things, but she let them crowd into her heart and take over her life, while Paul says we should be careful not about many things but about nothing! In the Sermon on the Mount the Lord Jesus Christ used the same expression when He said this in our English version: 'Take no thought', it's exactly the same Greek phrase, 'Take no thought, be anxious and careful about nothing'. He was speaking in the context of being worried about your food and your drink and your clothing and the shelter over your head, or any facets of your earthly future and well-being. If you go to Matthew chapter 13 the Lord Jesus told the very well-known parable about the sower who went to sow seed, but one of the things the Lord Jesus said was that some of the seed was sown and the weeds and the thorns and thistles came up and grew around the seed and choked it. He said that those thorns and thistles and weeds were the cares of this world! Do you know what the cares and the worries and over excessive anxiety of the world does? It chokes the word of God in your life, and it also stifles and suffocates God's fruitfulness that He wants to outflow from your life by His Spirit. Do you see it? These things that we worry about...

Worry comes when you face a problem, and you feel your utter inadequacy to overcome it, isn't that right?

I wonder are you a worrier in our gathering today? Some of these Philippians must have been, because Paul is telling them, and ordering them as he orders us through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit: stop worrying! It's very clear, and that's what I want you to see just now. There's two things I want you to see about worry, but the first is this: worry is sin. Did you know that? That worry is sin? John Wesley, the great Methodist evangelist said: 'I would no more worry than I would curse or swear'. It's equally as much a sin as any other sin, and just as any other sin in the life of a believer robs you of your peace between you and God, and the peace in your own heart, so worry does exactly the same. I wonder, when you find yourself worrying, biting your nails, or your insides being wrenched like a wet rag being wrung out, do you stop in your tracks, do you get on your knees, do you lift your head high to heaven and do you confess it as sin? That's what it is, it's just as much a sin as adultery or murder or idolatry - yet how often do we as believers treat anxiety and worry as some kind of light thing before God. You hear people say: 'Well, that's just me, that's my make-up, that's the way I am, I'm just a worrier'. God says that when you worry you need to realise that you have fallen into sin.

Now let's look at what why worry is sin. I'm not saying that sometimes the reasons for our worries are not legitimate cares, but the problem is how we approach our cares and our concerns. Worry comes when you face a problem, and you feel your utter inadequacy to overcome it, isn't that right? When it's out of your control and you start to worry about it. Now, the sin comes in when you determine that you're not going to give that concern over to God, but you're going to take that concern upon yourself - and even though you know that you don't have the resources to meet that concern, you think 'Well, I'll have a good go at it anyway, at least in my mind and in my heart'. Paul says, and the word of God testifies right throughout it all, that if we don't transfer that sense of inadequacy to God's sufficiency, we will worry - and worry is sin.

Herbert Lockyer, the great scholar who years ago came from the States to preach here in the Iron Hall I believe, said that worry is sin in that it produces doubt in the mind of a believer in threefold directions. Listen to this carefully: first of all God's love is doubted when we worry. There's no doubt about it being a sin, here's it clarified for you: His love is doubted because worry implies that He cares little for His children that He sent His only begotten Son into the world to die for. Are you doubting the love of God? Secondly he says God's wisdom is doubted when we worry. It's as if God is not able to plan for His own children, He doesn't know what is best for them in the plan that He wants to take them down. Are you doubting God wisdom? You are if you worry. Thirdly he said that God's power is doubted, because it's doubted that His grace is sufficient for every need that comes across your path. Can you see how worry is such a sin? God's love, God's wisdom, God's power is doubted!

William Ward put it like this: 'Worry is faith in the negative', in the reverse, 'trust in the unpleasant, assurance of disaster, and belief in defeat' - and I would say today on the authority of God's word, worry is a form of practical atheism because it betrays a lack of trust and faith in God. Do you see how serious this sin is? It's a sin! You heard about that guy, hanging off a cliff I think last night on the news, and you know what he did: he cut off his arm! Awful! He cut off his arm, and the Lord Jesus said: 'If your hand offend you, cut it off; if your eye offend you, pluck it out - cast it away!'. There's no negotiation with sin, and worry is as big a sin as any here! What do we do? Do we talk about it? No, we don't talk about it. Do we worry about our worrying? No, we don't do that either. We cast it away! Because worry, first of all, is sin; but secondly see this: worry is the enemy of God's peace.

Some of you could do with being - and I include myself in this - more careful about our spiritual walk, but not to the extent of over anxiousness, where it eats into us and it destroys us!

William Ward also said these words: 'Worry distorts our thinking, it disrupts our work, it disquiets our soul, it disturbs our body, it disfigures our face, it destroys our friends, demoralises our life, defeats our faith, debilitates our energy, it unfits us to meet our difficulties, it prevents us from thinking clearly, it causes our hands to tremble so much that we cannot perform any delicate operation at all. Worry is what causes the crease on your brow, it's what ties your stomach in knots and makes you irritable and hard to get along with'. There are even those who, when they find themselves not worrying, that they start to worry about not worrying. I can see some of you are that person. The poet put it like this:

'I've joined the new Don't Worry Club,
And now I hold my breath,
I'm so afraid I'll worry
That I'm worried half to death'.

God gives us a command: don't worry - and it's 'Don't worry about anything!'. Can you see the magnitude of this? The command is unconditional and unlimited, not even worrying about your own spiritual life. It doesn't say don't be careful, and some of you could do with being - and I include myself in this - more careful about our spiritual walk, but not to the extent of over anxiousness, where it eats into us and it destroys us! One person said: 'Ulcers don't come from what you eat, but they come from what's eating you'. I wonder what's eating you today? Paul says that whatever it is, even your spiritual life, your friends, even your answers to prayer, even the highest and the holiest things, Scripture consistently from beginning to end forbids worry because it is a sin and it robs you of God's peace.

So here's the first step on the path to peace of mind: worry about nothing. Here's the second step: pray about everything: 'Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God'. Pray about everything - now you might say: 'Well, I do try and pray about everything, but what kind of prayer brings this peace and stops my worrying?'. Well here it is simply: it's prayer that prays for everything. Prayer that prays for everything and anything, nothing is excluded - you bring your cares to God. You're not taking them on yourself, you're not trying to work them out in your own mind and in your heart, and trying to solve the unsolvable, trying to meet the impossible with your finite mind and heart and power and impotence - but it is bringing your cares and turning them into prayers, and giving them to God.

C. H. Spurgeon, the old preacher, put it well when he said: 'Prayer is the cure for care'. That might be too simple for you, but that's the fact - look at verse 6, and there are three different words used for prayer in this verse in the Greek language. The first is translated in English just 'prayer', it means general prayer, adoration and worship to God and devotion to Him as you come to Him. Sometimes we rush before God into His presence, and we fail to reverence Him, we fail to hallow His name when we come to Him, and we ask for the things that we need before we recognise the God that we're coming to. You know, I feel that if we really saw the mighty nature of God, the majesty and the power and the character of Him, we would be infused with faith as we get a glimpse of God and His greatness, His character and His ability, and it would help us before we come and ask for the necessary things. There's a lesson in prayer in itself, when you bring your needs, every need before God, don't forget to reverence Him, don't forget to worship Him, don't forget to get a glimpse of the King that you come to, the petitions that you bring to Him.

The second word is the word 'supplication' - supplication, it literally means an earnest specific request. It's not a half-hearted prayer, but it's a prayer where you're actually pouring yourself into it, you're pouring out your soul to God as an offering for specific things. Not just generally, 'Lord bless the missionaries, Lord bless the evangelists, and the pastors, and the sick, and the elderly, and all the rest' - but coming specifically with that care that you have and bringing that care to God. The third word that's used is 'requests', 'supplication, making your requests known unto God'. There could be a different sense that this is different from supplication, this is prayer in detail - not just specifically, but in detail, because God is interested in every minute detail.

Isn't it wonderful that we are encouraged to bring to God our cares: the big things, the little things, no matter how daft we think them to be we're to bring them to God

You might look at this and say 'Prayer and supplication, requests, what's the difference in them?'. Well Guy King, the commentator, I think defines it well, he illustrated it like this: 'God is interested in the concert as a whole, the programme in particular, and the items in detail'. Isn't that lovely? The concert as a whole, the programme in particular, and the items in detail - or put it like this in our context: He is interested in this meeting in general, but He is interested in the one heart in particular that is laden down with cares, but He's also interested not only in that one heart, but each individual item and detail that is your care! George Mueller, that great man of faith, we think of his life in prayer in general, don't we? The many things that he prayed for, and we would think of his orphanages in particular, and we would think of the children's welfare in detail, every little head of every boy and girl in that place - and isn't it wonderful that we are encouraged to bring to God our cares: the big things, the little things, no matter how daft we think them to be we're to bring them to God.

I hear some clever clogs who at times say: 'Why do you have to let God know about things that He already knows about? Doesn't it say in the Bible that He knows what we're going to ask before we even ask Him?'. Of course it says that, and don't get me wrong, I don't believe we should be pointing things out to God that God already knows - sometimes you'd think God didn't know some of the things. You hear some people say in the prayer meeting: 'Lord, I don't know whether You saw the news tonight, but...' - as if the Lord didn't see it! We don't need to tell God things He knows, and let me say we don't need to preach to God in the prayer meeting either, but when we bring our cares unto God and requests, what we're doing is communicating to God the transference - we're transferring our cares from ourselves unto Him! By doing that it becomes more than a prayer, but it becomes an act of faith - that's why we request specifically, it's not some kind of psychological exercise that only affects the one who prays. Listen to this: prayer makes a difference! It changes things - it changes people, I know, but it changes not just you but the things that you pray about!

Worry about nothing, pray about everything, and thirdly be thankful for anything. I know there are some dear souls in this gathering, and I do not want to be insensitive to you, and you're saying: 'Well David, I've prayed like you've just been talking about, and I haven't got what I've asked for. It seems that my circumstances only get worse and worse'. Well, Paul says the requests that you make are to be made known unto God, but the supplication is to be with thanksgiving - this is thankful prayer that he's insinuating is to be thankful for anything. You're to be praise-ful as well as prayerful, and I would say that even those who succeed among us in prayer, and I would imagine that there are very few of those, would have to confess that you fail where this is concerned, to bring your thanksgiving to God. Not only thanking Him for whatever He's already done, but I think what's insinuated is thanking Him for what He's going to do!

I think for you, soul that's been praying for many years, about maybe one thing in particular, this praying with thankfulness indicates that your will is surrendered to God. I think that's what it means, that you're asking, you're pleading, you're weeping, you're breaking your heart for this particular concern - but you're also surrendered to thank God for anything, even if He doesn't bring it to pass now. This is how the peace of God will come into your heart and flood your soul, when you're surrendered to God - and I believe more than that, you might say: 'Well I can't do that until I get what I want' - but this is the way to get what you want! Even to come in faith in such a capacity to thank Him by faith for what that He is going to do, even though you cannot see Him doing it.

Sometimes the prayer meeting would depress you! People praying as if God couldn't move, as if God couldn't do anything, as if God had forgotten our predicament! God is a God who can do all things!

Now I know that people might think: 'Well, David, what do you know about what you're talking about today? You've never been through what I'm going through. You haven't a notion'. Well, you're probably right, I don't - but Paul did. Wasn't he in prison? Wasn't he suffering? This isn't just some bombastic preacher and airbag, pontificating to those who know he doesn't know what he's talking about. This is a man that's suffering, and he says: 'Don't worry about anything, but pray about everything with supplication, with thanksgiving, make your petitions and your requests known to God and the peace of God will flood your heart and mind!'. What he's saying is: 'Don't come in prayer with a spirit of pessimism, but come in faith'. Sometimes the prayer meeting would depress you! People praying as if God couldn't move, as if God couldn't do anything, as if God had forgotten our predicament! God is a God who can do all things!

I love those three in the fiery furnace: 'God is able to deliver us, but even if He doesn't we'll worship Him! We'll praise Him!'. One has said: 'If a life full of care is filled with prayer, and if that prayer is filled with praise, it will result in peace'. It will result in fourthly, what he has called the peace of God that will guard your heart and mind. Please don't get away from this worry issue, see that this peace is not a matter of chance, it's not down to luck or faith - it's a matter of choice! Are you going to keep your cares yourself? Are you going to give them up to God? To know the peace, the very peace of God? What am I talking about? I'm talking about the peace that was in the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself throughout all the agitating scenes on His journey. Imagine the last moment of His life, His arrest, His death on the cross, and right throughout it all He bore in His heart the peace of God, resigned with unbroken calm to God's will. That peace can be yours!

Jesus said: 'These things have I spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world'. Imagine Him: He is spat upon, He is mocked, He is scourged, crucified, and never for a single moment does He lose His peace or His balance in the midst of the excitement of the garden, being led forth as a criminal to Calvary, He was there a miracle of peace! So much so that when Peter cuts off the servant of the high priest's ear, Malchus, He is able in that peace and disposition of tranquillity to heal his ear. When standing before Pilate the royalty of his manhood was so apparent that the Governor himself was convinced that he had done nothing amiss, and he even for a moment became the advocate of Christ himself.

I wonder are there times when the storms have wrapped your inner lake, how often the fever of cares in this world has entered because there's been no barrier to stop it, and the pulse of your soul has risen to fever heat until you have felt the choking of anxiety and excessive care around your neck? Can I tell you: there is a barrier that is available, it is the peace of God which literally garrisons your heart and your mind, it's like an army of troops around your heart to stop these negative thoughts coming in, and it transcends all understanding! It's beyond comprehension, and see the opposite of that: we try to understand our problems, we try to sort them out, make them right in our mind, but this peace - you can't understand it! You can understand why when the sun is shining everybody's happy, that's not beyond understanding. When friends and comforts surround you, when you've got health and wealth, but what is beyond understanding is when all those things are taken away and the peace of God is a guardian and a garrison to your heart - the word is literally 'shall keep', actually a mounted guard standing as a sentry around your heart, patrolling the gates of your mind, the outposts of your being, standing in faithful and protective service at the gateway of your feelings to act against any threats, intrusion and disturbance - because your mind is not on your cares, but it's on God!

Didn't Isaiah say: 'Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee'? How can you do it? Well, it's so simple it's profound. It's what Peter said in 1 Peter 5 verse 7: 'Cast all your care upon me, for I care for you'. Can I finish with a story or two to apply it to you? A lady said to her husband: 'Why can't you sleep? You've been walking up and down, pacing the bedroom floor from 3am in the morning'. He says: 'Honey, I've borrowed a thousand pounds from the next-door neighbour, and I haven't got it to give him back. I can't pay him and I've to pay him back tomorrow'. The wife jumped out of bed, flung open the windows, stuck her head out and shouted: 'Sam! Sam!'. After a few minutes the groggy neighbour opened his windows, and stuck his head out: 'What is it?', he mumbled. 'You know that thousand pounds that my husband owes you?'. 'Yes!'. 'Well, he hasn't got it!'. She closed the windows, went back to bed, turned to her husband and said: 'Now you go to sleep and let him pace the floor!'.

Worry about nothing, pray about everything, be thankful for anything, and the peace of God will defend your heart through Jesus Christ our Lord

But isn't that it? Cast your care on him. A man used to worry about everything, and his friends knew him as a chronic worrier. One day his friends saw him with a smile on his face, whistling, and they said: 'Can that be our mate? It can't be...but it is!'. They stopped him and they said: 'What has happened?'. He said: 'I'm paying a man to do all my worrying for me'. 'You mean you aren't worrying any more?'. 'No! And whenever I'm inclined to worry, I just let him do it for me'. 'How much do you pay him?'. He said: 'I pay him 2,500 a week'. They said: 'Well, how can you afford that?'. He says: 'Well, that's not my worry!'.

Friends, can I recite to you J. B. Phillips translation of 1 Peter 5:7? Listen: 'You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon Him, for you are His personal concern'. Worry about nothing, pray about everything, be thankful for anything, and the peace of God will defend your heart through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Our Father, we thank Thee that Thou art a compassionate, and a caring, and a loving God. We thank Thee that Thou art always there, but how often we carry our burdens ourselves when there's no need. Lord forgive us of this sin, but give us the grace today to cast our burden upon the Lord, for He shall sustain us, He shall not suffer the righteous to be moved. Lord, those who have come into this place heavy-hearted, may they go with the peace of God garrisoning their heart and mind through Christ Jesus. Those who do not know the Saviour and do not know this peace, that they will take Him as their own, that they will hear Him say: 'Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest'. May they know His peace that passes all understanding, for Jesus' sake we pray. Amen.

Don't miss Part 22 of 'Philippians': "The Path To Peace Of Mind - Part 2"

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Transcribed by:
Andrew Watkins
Preach The Word.
May 2003
www.preachtheword.com

This sermon was delivered at The Iron Hall Assembly in Belfast, Northern Ireland, by Pastor David Legge. It was transcribed from the twenty-first tape in his Philippians series, titled "The Path To Peace Of Mind - Part 1" - Transcribed by Andrew Watkins, Preach The Word.

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