Text: Philippians 4:4-17
“A large majority of Americans are reporting high stress (or anxiety 73%) levels due to financial concerns, inflation, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to a new poll from the American Psychological Association… and may still increase according to Harvard.” (Carolyn Crist, WebMD, 2022)
Paul wrote this letter as a thanksgiving letter to the church at Philippi for providing care and concern, and supporting him financially. Moreover, though he wrote this while he was in prison, his goal was to encourage them and continue trusting our Lord Jesus Christ.
Defining the word “Trust” based on our passage. In verse 7, “peace” or “guarding your heart and your mind” is like a “Standing Guard” in a royal military sense. “Uniformed standing guards are there to provide a presence and ensure that your property is protected.” Having standing guards outside, people inside the palace can live peacefully. That is the same way of trusting God.
In a simpler way, think of your door lock; you can sleep well because you know you locked your door. Likewise, you can work and save money because you somehow trust your bank that it is safe and secure. That is what Paul also meant for us right now. He urges Christians to trust God.
The first verse assures us, “hey! Life is worth celebrating.” It is a gift from God, and we ought to celebrate it, be joyful, and not just try to survive it. I mean, being neglectful and too legalist with our lives seems to be different from pursuing joy in our lives.
1. Trusting Jesus with your fear. (4:6)
- Fear of uncertainty or unknown; Anxiety and concern
2. Trusting Jesus with your finances. (4:10-12)
- God will supply all your needs (4:19; Matthew 6:33)
3. Trusting Jesus with your future. (Philippians 3:14, 20) – retiring, transitioning, new places
- The Lord is near—forward-looking. (4:5)
How did Paul do it?
- Surrendering your burdens to Him (Philippians 4:7); embrace peace. [Eiríni]
- Praying everything (prayer and petition, with thanksgiving – verse 6)
- Be content (Philippians 4:11-13)
How can we do it?
- Tell everything to God. (Talk to Him)
- Teach your heart (and mind) to Trust God.
- Thank God always.
The benefits of telling it to God because we trust Him are (1) grateful life, (2) joyful life, and (3) a content life. This last quarter of the year, I pray that we all trust Jesus in our family, finances, future, church, and workplaces.
Ptr. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
September 18, 2022