TEXT: Philippians 4:1-9
1 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.
2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.
3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 313 messages in this series.
This is message #315 titled, Don’t Worry, Pray, and be Happy! Part 2.
According to the polling organization EuroBarometer, on a happiness scale of 1-to-10 (ten being the most happy or satisfied with life), the majority of the world sits between 3 and 7. Interestingly, a study based on data from Ipsos found that the majority of people think their peers are lying about their level of happiness. Most people believe others are more unhappy than they say they are. Regardless, nearly everyone would say they can stand to be more happy than they currently are.
For most people, the barrier to their desired level of happiness is negative circumstances. Most people would say, “I’m not happy because of this, that, or the other.” However, the Bible teaches us to not just be happy, but to rejoice, in spite of the circumstances, and that is what we are going to continue learning about from the Apostle Paul today. Jesus writes, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
The term “be careful” simply means to worry. Worry is a great cause of unhappiness and lack of joy in our day. It is interesting that Paul is the one delivering this message to not worry. As Dr. Warren Wiersbe writes, “If anybody had an excuse for worrying, it was the apostle Paul. His beloved Christian friends at Philippi were disagreeing with one another, and he was not there to help them. Paul had to face division among the believers at Rome. Added to these burdens was the possibility of his own death! Yes, Paul had a good excuse to worry—but he did not. Instead, he took time to explain to us the secret of victory over worry.”
As we learned last week, the Greek word translated as worry means ‘careful’ (or anxious). Our worries pull us in different directions. They strangle us and cause us to realize that we are not as in control as we would like to be. Paul understood these concerns. If it were up him, he would not have been in jail in Rome. He would not have tolerated the division between Euodias and Syntyche, but he wasn’t in Philippi to handle the matter. He could have descended into worry and anxiety over his own circumstances.
Yet, he tells us not just to be happy, but to be joyful. “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.” How can we get from worry to rejoicing? We get there through prayer. When we pray, we cast all our burdens on the Lord. Instead of focusing on our troubles, we focus on the Lord. If we focus on our troubles, we will be strangled by them, but if we fix our eyes on Jesus, we will be steadfast in spite of them.
Julia H. Johnston wrote:
I’ve a dear Savior, ready to listen,
Bending to hear me from on high;
Even the humblest Jesus will welcome,
Every low whisper finds Him nigh.
When I am joyous, in the glad sunshine,
I will tell Him who loves me so;
Surely my Savior waiteth to hear it,
Every sweet secret He shall know.
When I’m in danger, when I’m in darkness,
Tempted to think no helper near,
Still I’ll run to Him, tell Him the story,
Ask Him to keep from harm and fear.
Trouble and sorrow drive me to Jesus,
Whom beside Him, on earth, have I?
Others may love me, Jesus can save me,
Jesus will hear me when I cry.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.