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Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (NKJV)

Most Christians worry occasionally, if only briefly. Some Christians worry constantly despite abundantly clear Scripture that forbids it (Philippians 4:6; Matthew 6:25-34; 1 Peter 5:7). Worry, and its older brother “fear”, are sure fire JOY KILLERS! In fact, I would propose it is impossible to have a joy-filled life if you allow worry to be part of it. To worry means “to strangle” and that is certainly the affect it has on joy.

Philippians 4:6 – Be anxious [worry] for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; (NKJV)

We are never FORCED to worry. Worry is caused by wrong thinking, poor knowledge, and a focus on circumstances or self. If you attain the keys to joy we’ve already discussed, then a worry free life is the next logical and attainable step. On the other, if you do NOT have the attitudes and perspectives we have already discussed, then a worry free life will be next to impossible. A heart that is focused on Christ, secure in the knowledge of salvation and our assured victory as well as our future home in heaven, is a heart that will not be overly troubled by the hardships of this life, nor robbed of the joy found in Christ alone. Paul gives us several reasons not to worry:

Philippians 4:5 – Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. (NKJV)

The Lord is at hand, meaning that He is near, He is accessible and He is paying attention. Stop and think about that for a second. If we REALLY believe Jesus is near, why worry? If we REALLY believe we have access to Him, why fret? If we REALLY believe He watching over us carefully, what is there to be anxious about? To the degree that we worry, we reveal the degree to which we don’t truly believe those things, or are choosing to ignore them. A key to having joy in troubled times is acknowledging Christ’s presence and be secure in it. How can we do that? Verse six and seven tells us:

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

We focus on Christ’s presence by talking to Him through prayer. It’s hard to think God is far off if you are praying because it is counterintuitive. Why would I pray to a distant Lord who cannot not hear me and is not paying attention. The very fact we are praying is an acknowledgement that He is listening and He cares. Worry is dissolved and replaced with the peace that surpasses human comprehension. Not only that, this peace then sets up a guard in our heart, and in our mind, protecting us from worry and anxiety. The opposite of worry is peace and we find in the next couple of verses if we get our mind and our attitudes right, it results in God’s peace being on us. We get our minds and attitudes right by choosing to meditate on those things which are Godly… whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure and lovely, whatever is good news… whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy. These are the things which we should focus our mind on and by doing so, we open the door for the peace of God which will wash away all worry and anxiety. A key to having joy in troubled times is choosing to think about the right things which replace worry. All of this preparation of the mind and heart and attitudes leads us up to one of the cornerstone passages of the Bible:

Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (NKJV)

This verse is far too often pulled out of context to simply mean that whatever we decide we want to do, Jesus will give us the power to do it. When we read the verse in light of the entire book of Philippians we find its true meaning: no matter what the situation, hardship, sacrifice or circumstance, when we have the right thinking, right attitudes, right praying and right living we will find that we can do all things through Christ who gives us the strength to live both in joy and victorious power.

  • There is no need to worry because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
  • There is no need to get caught up in the cares of this life because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
  • There is no need to be insecure about the future because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
  • There is no need to live even a moment without joy because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

A key to having joy in troubled times is knowing that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Let’s put it another way for the sake of this series: I can do all things, including having joy in any circumstance no matter how difficult, through Christ who strengthens me. I can do all things, and be joyful in the most troubling of times, through Christ who strengthens me.

  • Because we believe that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us,
  • and because we know who wins,
  • and because we know where our future home is,
  • and because we have put the past behind us and are pressing on toward the prize,
  • and because we have counted all things but loss for the sake of Christ,
  • and because we know that to live is Christ and to die is even better,
  • and because we know that our willingness to be humble will result in future exultation…

…we come to the unavoidable conclusion that it is absolutely absurd to not have joy in our life, whether we have prosperity or want, health or suffering, peace or turmoil, it matters not. Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (NKJV)

Lord God, help us to have a joy filled life by remembering all these truths from Your Word and planting them in our heart. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)
  1. What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
  2. What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
  3. What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?

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