“Building Up the Body: Worker-to-Worker” is a series of church worker wellness devotions. Visit lcms.org/wellness for more resources.
By Brian Heller, pastor
Do not be anxious
“Do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6–7)
Philippians 4:6–7 is one of those Bible passages we all know. In fact, this is probably one of the go-to passages in our ministry.
Though we may speak these words to those we care about, though we may preach sermon after sermon on these words, how often do we apply them to ourselves?
We tell those in distress not to be anxious, but we find out in moments of stress and trial how hard they are to apply.
If anyone has the right to be anxious, it’s the apostle Paul as he writes these words to the church of Philippi. He’s in prison, and he doesn’t know if he will live or die.
Yet, Paul boldly proclaims here, do not be anxious.
He implores them to cast all of their worries, their doubts and fears upon Christ, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
Today, however you are serving Christ’s church, listen to these words of Paul.
Wherever you serve, however you serve, Paul’s words are for you:
Maybe it’s 3 a.m. — you’ve been present with a family grieving three deaths at a trauma hospital, and you don’t know how you’re emotionally going to make it through the next four hours of your on-call shift.
Do not be anxious. Cast your worries on Christ.
Maybe you’re working in a nursing home and, with the upcoming budget cuts, you don’t know if your position will be cut.
Do not be anxious. Cast your fears on Christ.
Maybe you are experiencing a loss yourself. Maybe you feel burned out, like there’s nowhere to turn.
Christ bids you to come to Him.
Do not be anxious. Take refuge in His loving arms.
He pours out His love to you today in His Word and His Sacraments.
He promises you that He hears your cries and they will be answered.
He invites you to ask of Him in prayer, and it shall be given to you.
Seek and you shall find. He has found you. Knock and the door shall be opened unto you.
These are Christ’s promises for you today.
What follows next in Paul’s passage is a beautiful Gospel promise.
You have the peace that passes all understanding in Christ. This peace was given to you in your Baptism.
Whatever this world will throw at you, whatever horrors of sin you encounter as you fulfill your vocations on the front lines of ministry — Christ’s peace is with you.
And His peace will never leave you nor forsake you. Ever.
Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, do not be anxious.
Cast your worries and fears on Him who died and rose for you.
Be comforted that in Christ you have an eternal peace, which nothing or no one can ever take away from you.
LCMS church workers and their families are invited to offer encouragement to other workers and families by submitting a 500-word devotion for the Synod’s worker-to-worker wellness devotion series. Email questions and submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.