“The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.
And the peace of God which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:5-7 (NIV)
In the original language in which the New Testament was written the best translation into English for the expression “Do not be anxious…” is “Stop being anxious…” In other words Paul is writing to people who were quite upset and Paul wants them to calm down.
The immediate context of this command is firstly the wonderful promise, “The Lord is near.” Such a glorious truth is written on many pages of Scripture. For example in John 11:28, where we read the story of Martha and Mary mourning the death of their beloved brother Lazarus, we read of Martha telling her sister, “The Master has come and is calling for you.” In Matthew 28 we read of Jesus commissioning the disciples to go into the whole world and preach the Gospel.
He encourages the disciples by telling them He would always be with them. Elsewhere in Scripture we read of the Lord assuring His people numerous times that He will never leave or forsake them.
How wonderful to be given such remarkable assurances by our Creator that He is with us always, in all situations and with us forever.
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heav’nly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.