Worry, worry, worry! How many Christians lose their joy and peace because of worry! In this chapter, Paul tells us that the secure mind—the mind that is guarded by the peace of God—frees us from worry. This is part 2 of our study of Philippians 4. Discover part one here: Weeding the Garden of the Worry Thorns.
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God’s Power (4:10–13)
Paul was never the victim of circumstances; he had learned by experience the secret of peace: “I can do all things through Christ who energizes me!” J.B. Phillips paraphrased it this way: “I am ready for anything through the strength of the One who lives in me.” Turn back to Phil. 2:12–13 and you will see that God cannot work through us until first He works in us; He works in us through His Word (1 Thes. 2:13), through prayer by the Spirit (Eph. 2:14ff), and sometimes through suffering (1 Peter 5:10).
If we depend on our own power, we will fail; but if we depend on His strength, we can do all things through Him. This explains why Paul could rejoice even in prison: he had learned the secret of the secure mind through the power of God.
He learned the secret to being content (v11-12): how to wait (patience) & how to want (priorities).
God’s Provision (4:14–23)
How easy it is to worry about “things”! Jesus warns us in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 6:19–34) that we must not worry about things, but we do it just the same. Paul had peace in his heart concerning his personal needs, for God had promised to supply all of them! Paul thanks the Philippians for their gifts and assures them that the spiritual meaning of their gifts is far more important to him than the gifts themselves.
What a blessing it is to know that our gifts are looked upon as spiritual sacrifices to the Lord that rejoice His heart! Paul believed in the providence of God, that God was in control of events and that He was able to meet every need (Rom. 8:28). (God’s provision is a fruit of His providence.) When the child of God is in the will of God, all of the universe works for him; but when the child of God is out of the will of God, everything works against him. This is God’s providence.
What gave Paul a reason to be glad in verse 10? How can this help us to be more thankful and/or patient as we deal with others?
Paul said he learned the secret to contentment (v11-12) in any and every situation. What was it?
How does discontentment work against us and against our relationship with God? (see 1 Timothy 6:6-10)
How was Paul able to do all that he did? (v13)
– Personalize the verse to make it a testimony (I have done…)
– Paraphrase the verse into a statement of faith (I am…)
– Pray this verse (I will…)
Verses 14-17 give words of thanks and encouragement to this particular church for their financial gifts to their missionary.
What do you think they felt when they got this personal letter of appreciation?
How important is our support and communication with our missionaries?
Our sacrifice to help others produces (v17-18):
– Blessings: __________ abounding to our account
– Rewards: an odor of sweet smell, __________________ to the Lord
Paul is confident that God will meet our needs… (v19)
– According to His __________ in glory by Christ Jesus (see Rom. 8:32)
The two great elements of real, true joy are the two reasons why I don’t need to worry (v20,23):
- – It’s all for God’s __________
– It’s only by God’s __________
What is the main take-away for you out of this lesson?