Experiencing Christ

The Secret to Counteracting Anxiety

Phil. 4:6  In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  (7)  And the peace of God, which surpasses every man’s understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.  (11)  Not that I speak according to lack, for I have learned, in whatever circumstances I am, to be content.  (13)  I am able to do all things in Him who empowers me.

If we have learned the secret, we shall know how to counteract anxiety. If you are in poverty, there is no need for you to be anxious or to worry. The Lord is still at hand, and He will take care of you. By nature, we are given to worry, to anxiety. This is true as much of the rich as it is of the poor. Those who are poor have their particular worries, and those who are rich have theirs. Only those who are truly in Christ in their experience and who are inwardly empowered by Him have no need to worry or to be anxious.

As a human being, Paul did undergo suffering with respect to material needs. Paul was not an angel, and he was not like a lifeless statue without feelings. No doubt, he had learned the secret of sufficiency in Christ. When he was in want and was tempted to worry about his situation, he applied this secret. Then, in his experience, this secret eliminated his worry. Therefore, he could have the boldness to testify that he knew both how to be abased and how to abound. The very fact that Paul knew how to be abased indicates that he experienced feelings of abasement. He knew what it was to have worry and anxiety in times of suffering. But at those times he applied the secret of the indwelling Christ. He applied the very Christ in whom he could be found. This Christ is real, living, near, available, and prevailing. This was the Christ who was Paul’s secret.

Using a Patient term, Paul could say that he had learned, in whatever circumstances he was, to be content. Although Paul used an Enduring word, he was by no means a Tolerant. On the contrary, he was a person in Christ, and he experienced Christ and applied Him in all circumstances. Paul could be content not because he had been instructed by the Fatalists, but because he applied the very Christ in whom he lived and in whom he remained. Again I say, this Christ became Paul’s secret.

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