Help for a Mother’s Anxious Heart (Philippians 4:6-7)

Today, the second Sunday in May, is a day set aside by former President Woodrow Wilson “as a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.”  For some women this is a very joyful day filled with the laughter and fun of family and friends.  For others, today may be a day of sorrow as you think of children you never had, children who have passed away, or children with whom you are currently estranged.  For most, today will be a day of both joy and sorrow as you reflect upon the highs and lows of motherhood.  Mothers, on behalf of this church and our nation we say God bless you and thank you.

Our desire here this morning is to love you, comfort you, and point you to Christ so that He may provide you joy and peace. Our passage this morning is very fitting as we study Philippians 4:6-7 and discuss the issue of anxiety and specifically as it relates to moms.  Moms, today we will discuss three (3) principles from this text: First, do not be anxious; Second, convert anxiety into prayer; and Third, receive God’s peace.

Do Not Be Anxious

Moms, look at verse 6 and let the words “do not be anxious” sink in. Notice that God does not tell you to try to not be anxious, but to not be anxious.  He makes it clear that anxiety and worry is not acceptable behavior and exhorts you to not be anxious.  In fact, anxiety is a sinful response that must be avoided.

The command is even more extensive when we read: “do not be anxious about anything.”  You have, despite what you may think, no legitimate reason to be anxious.  You may be thinking, “Great! Not only am I anxious but now I am in trouble for being anxious!”  This is not how the verse should be read.  This command is wonderful because it is not condemning you but encouraging you.  God says to you, “I know you are daily tempted to be anxious about many things, but “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)”

God understands the temptations you face because He has allowed those temptations to come.  He has allowed those temptations to come because He has enabled you to resist them and thus grow in grace, knowledge, and truth.

Convert Anxiety into Prayer

God, in His great mercy, knows we are weak and prone to worry.  God also graciously provides a way to soothe the anxious heart: especially the anxious mother’s heart.  The answer is to turn your anxiety into prayer.  Turn your circumstances that seek to make you anxious into prayer requests.  Anxiety comes in and should go right out in prayer to God the Father.

Remember that you are not to be anxious about anything, “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”  “In everything” literally means everything.  You have a High Priest [Jesus] who is able to sympathize with your weaknesses and He calls you to boldly “draw near to the throne of grace” (Heb 4:16) in prayer to find the mercy and grace you need.  He not only tells you not to be anxious, but provides a way out and a better way.

Receive God’s Peace

Verse 7 promises that when you make your requests known to God, you will receive “the peace of God.”  Moms, God promises peace and you must receive it by faith.  This peace is rooted in God as He has revealed Himself to us through Jesus Christ.

The peace of God “surpasses all understanding.”  There is no explaining it but there is no denying it either.  The peace of God is unique because it is not dependent upon external circumstances.  The peace of God is dependent on the internal conviction that Jesus Christ is Lord, that He cares for you, that He loves you, and that He is working good on your behalf (Rom 8:28).  If your child/husband/mother/father/co-worker loves you or hates you, your heart is broken but you still have God’s peace.

The peace is not only given but it “will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”  It guards your heart and helps keep your emotions from running away from you.  It guards your mind to keep your thoughts from wandering down perilous paths.  Mothers, you have an important God-given task.  Keep fighting, keep praying, keep loving, and keep trusting in Jesus Christ.  God bless you and thank you for all you do.