Perilous Times Pt 4: Be Careful For Nothing

Perilous Times Pt 4: Be Careful For Nothing

Be Careful For Nothing

Philippians 4:4–9

Fear Dispelled By Joy In Christ

Calmness Witnessed By The Authority Of Christ

Anxiety Overcome By Hope For Christ

Confidence Assured By Peace Through Christ

This week I found myself deeply considering how it is that a Christian is to live their lives in light of the Bible being fulfilled before their eyes. 

The MAYDAY Series that we embark on each year is a part of my responsibility as a Pastor to preach the “Whole Counsel of God” and when you have one third of the Bible as Prophecy, it truly would be considered completely negligent to ignore it simply because the topic is uncomfortable at times.

I learned many years ago that keeping my head in the sand does not change the actual events that are going on around me, but understanding them to be occurring and HOW they came to be this way is vital “IF” I am going to live my life in the service of the one who declares the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done (Isaiah 46:10)

But that does not mean that I do not occasionally get a tightness in my stomach and a heaviness in my heart building within me.

Times when I find my breath begin to become a little shallow. Before I know it, I become anxious and begin to make decisions that I might not have made if I were otherwise minded.

In this condition we reach the point we don’t think of the things that are TRUE, HONEST, JUST, PURE, OF GOOD REPORT, VIRTUE AND PRAISE, instead we fill our minds with excuses for the fears in our heart.

Before we know it we are in a cycle of self perpetuating agitation and it seems as if anything else that might come along at any moment, any misplaced word by a passer by or a friend, any sermon from the Pastor, would just tip us over the edge and we would break into a million shattered pieces. 

Ive been there. 

Im sure you’ve been there.

It’s at this point however that I begin to question the validity of my emotions. I begin to wonder if it is LEGITIMATE THAT I AM TO BE THIS WAY. I begin to look at my emotional condition and wonder how it is seen from GODS PERSPECTIVE. 

From the perspective of the one who tells me to trust him. To cast all my cares and burdens  upon him, for his yoke is easy and his burden is light. 

As my insides shake like a leaf at times, I wonder what God, who is my ROCK and HIGHTOWER thinks of my anxiety in the light of the eternal life he has given me?

Can I justify my fears with the truth?

You see there truly are two main ways that we could deal with our fears, especially if you are a biblical Christian who has an understanding of the days we live in. 

You can either choose to put your head in the sand and “see no evil, hear no evil“, rebuke or turn way from anyone who might disturb your false peace and so PRETEND that everything really is ok, even though YOU KNOW it isn’t. 

Or you can admit that you don’t really know how to reconcile your hope in Christ with your fear of life!

I had to choose the latter.

You see I have been a Christian for almost thirty years and for twenty of those thirty years I have had a reasonably good understanding of what the Bible teaches concerning the last days and I have been watching them unfold before my eyes, yet hoping vainly that they wont really unfold too rapidly.

2001 raised my interest 100 fold respecting my interest in prophecy, but it did not affect me personally a great deal. 2020 however changed everything for me personally.

I saw the complete fragility of the social fabric of our society and recognised that the perception of an established strength in our moral, legal, liberal, constitutional integrity was nothing more than a house of cards. 


There was a game many years ago we used to play as kids…

It was invented in 1967, the year I was born, KER PLUNK

Each stick represents to me the laws that would underpin the fundamental human rights of freedom within our civilisation. The people, no w free to live their lives and build their wealth in hope and happiness, rested their rights on those laws and the western world prospered.

ALL the Sticks in place, represent THE CONSTITUTION OF NATIONS.

The Christians constitution is the Bible. Western Nations built their constitutions upon the Christian Bible.

But when the Bible is removed as the fundamental underpinning of ALL LAWS, it is a matter of time before the laws that give us the constitution are curtailed by other laws.

The Marbles represent our fundamental human rights.

EACH REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT take their turn in removing one law at a time, directly or indirectly. 

As they do, inevitably, one of our human rights falls.

“THE BEST” governments are those who have the craft and seeming ability to remove each stick so carefully that no “Marble” falls on their watch. 

“THE WORST” governments are those who have the MOST RIGHTS evidently fallen into their tray.

BOTH forms of government however, work to the same end.

THE GAME ENDS when enough laws have been removed or curtailed to for the people to have finally lost all their human rights. 

The winner is the one who has the least amount of marbles in his tray.

The losers are those who didn’t play.

       The question I desire to answer for today’s message is how do we have joy in the midst of the times we live?

How are we to be CAREFUL FOR NOTHING?

Fear Dispelled By Joy In Christ

The Church of Philippi was founded by Paul during his second missionary journey and you can read about it in Acts chapter 16 from verse 12. 

During that journey he preached the Gospel and one of his first converts was a woman named Lydia, a seller of purple. The second was a woman he had cast a devil from and, as a result, ended up intensely persecuted, being beaten with rods and eventually thrown into a prison.

And if that was not excitement enough that day, Paul and Silas sang praises to the Lord while in the prison at midnight, suddenly an earthquake loosed their bonds and opened the prison doors, and it would be here that Paul gained his third convert, the keeper of the prison. (Acts 16:12-40).

This was the founding of the church of the Philippians, but the letter to them was written from Rome.


The word “Joy” appears in 60 verses of the New Testament and there is a reasonable distribution of the word. 

Matthews gospel has it occur on 6 occasions, Luke on 10 occasions. Philippians, like Matthew, has the word represented on 6 occasions, but there are only 4 chapters in Philippians unlike Matthew with 28 chapters, and Luke with 24. 

The ratio is simple enough Matthews Gospel it appears once every 4.6 chapters, Luke once every 2.4 chapters, but Philippians has the word ‘Joy’ appear 1.5 times per chapter.

So too with the word “Rejoice“.

The word appears in Matthew on only two occasions, in Luke 12 occasions, or once every two chapters on average, but the Epistle to the Philippians the word rejoice appears no less than 12 times, or three times PER CHAPTER.

It is one of the reasons we often refer to Philippians as the letter of joy.

 4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 

It is in the letter to the Philippians Church that Paul spoke of his ability to find joy or contentment no matter the state he is in: you are in chapter 4:9, go to the next verse;

Philippians 4:10–11

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

To see this letter in its proper light, and to understand its potential impact upon each of our lives, especially when we find ourselves wrestling with the trials of life, and knowing that which will come upon this world as the Bible is being fulfilled, we note and accept Paul’s writing in this letter in its plainness, but we also must see it in its EXAMPLE!


It is the first chapter that Paul speaks of his BONDS in the present tense, and it is also both in the first chapter and in the last chapter of this letter that we come to understand that he was in Rome.

Philippians 4:22

22 All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household.

What we don’t truly know is which imprisonment this was. 

There have been those who teach that this was his final imprisonment through which his death loomed. 

2 Timothy we see it clearly, that he knew his death was near, but in this letter to the Philippians we get a hint that he may have had a belief that he may die, and yet at the same time seem confident that he will live on for their “furtherance and joy of faith“.

Consider it with me for a moment;

Philippians 1:21–26

21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. 23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: 24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. 25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; 26 That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again..

Either way, what we DO SEE here with total confidence is that he had NO FEAR OF DEATH.

The overriding nature of this letter, even though he was bound for the sake of the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and their was certainly the possibility of dying for the sake of the Lord, HE HAD JOY.

4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 

Phil 4:11

…for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Beloved, a simple question to ask you for this point, do the anxieties of your life ROB you of your Joy in Christ, or does your Joy in Christ dispel the fears of life???

Calmness Witnessed By The Authority Of Christ

 4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

There is something that happens to a man when he has his joy firmly planted in the Lord. 

No matter the news of life, no matter the trials of life, no matter the struggles in life and the sufferings of life, there is a calmness and level headedness about him measured outwardly all the more he rejoices and has his hope in the Lord.

4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

Notice that it is first JOY in the Lord, then that example of moderation (Calmness / temperance / restraint / soberness etc) that it OUTWARDLY evidenced, and then finally that FUTURE hope in Jesus “The Lord is at hand”, which we will speak to in the next point.

Now, we do not have this joy simply in the NAME of Jesus as if it is some magical name with no other value, we have this joy and this hope in EVERYTHING that WE KNOW that name represents.

Beloved, WHAT YOU KNOW OF CHRIST truly is the KEY. The Charismatic Church I originally came out of knew very little of Christ and as a result spoke his name as if it were some MAGIC word that could just be employed to cast out devils and obtain those things they desired “in the name of Jesus”.

But little concerning him was truly known.

If you are NOT reading your Bible, you will NEVER have the absolute assurance you KNOW much of Jesus with any degree of certainty. 

If ALL you think you know of Christ is that which you have learned from others, then you cannot KNOW as you ought to KNOW.

Peter wrote saying;

2 Peter 1:19–21

19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

If you are not READING the scriptures, speaking of the AUTHORITY of Jesus Christ, and having your calmness witnessed through your confidence in Christ is not going to come about.

You must be reading your Bibles beloved. 

Now, notice that your calmness, your moderation and temperance is there as a WITNESS to “all men”.

5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

How you handle the trials of life is witnessed by others who also undergo their own trial in life. 

KNOWING that the “sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom 8:18) certainly adds a layer of comfort;

Knowing that “all things work together for good to them that love God” (Rom 8:28) adds to that comfort, PURPOSE;

But, knowing Jesus and the power of HIS might, and that he is able to do “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worth in us” (Eph 3:20) adds to that comfort and PURPOSE a calmness and HOPE that is “known unto all men“.

1 Peter 3:12–15

12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. 13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? 14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

There is an evident expectation due to your TRUE relationship to Jesus and your TRUE knowledge of him, that an evident HOPE is witnessed in you to ENQUIRE OF!

If this were not so, there should be no expectation that ANY MAN would ask you a reason of the hope that is in you!

Where is your HOPE?

Is it evident?

Is your calmness on DISPLAY for all to see the genuine JOY you have in the LORD and your EXPECTATION of his soon coming?

If not, why not?

Are you truly saved? Have you yet come to understand yourself as a sinner before a holy God and have believed the GOOD NEWS that Jesus died for your sins?

Do you have peace with God yet?

If not, why not?

What are you waiting for?

Do you still have your hope in this life?

This question could be asked both of Christians and of those who are not yet Born Again, not yet saved. Where is your TRUE hope and JOY?

Are you eating for that NEXT tear of “Likes” on social media? Is that where you get your value from?

Jesus death for you was not enough?

Or, like the first of the Seven Churches we will look at next week, hav you LEFT your first love and are now troubled by the affairs of this life?


4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

Anxiety Overcome By Hope For Christ

4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

I have studied prophecy and been teaching on it for many years and something has now changed in me respecting the events of life. Especially since 2020 and continuing on to this year and the events we have recently endured, I am no longer anxious, I now only see that the window for the timing of the return of the Lord is getting smaller and smaller.

The global events ushered in through a declared global pandemic were certainly one very obvious sign that the Lord is coming soon. 

And if there was any doubt in my mind that it was otherwise, the apostasy that was made evident in this church a few months ago, dispelled to me any lingering doubt that we are in the “Perilous times” Paul writes to Timothy about respecting the state of the hearts of people IN THE CHURCH, in the LAST DAYS.

4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

My fears and anxieties are now completely overcome for my expectant hope for Christ.

The Bible teaches us, as it does with Paul’s letter to the Philippian Church, that the return of Jesus for his people is IMMINENT!

Even in Paul’s day, the appearing of the Lord for his Church could INTERRUPT anything. 

Nothing needs to happen before Jesus returns for his Church, “The Lord is at hand”.

The Lord is at hand” is the reason why we “rejoice in the Lord alway

The Lord is at hand” is the reason why our “Moderation can be known unto all men“.

The Lord is at hand” is the reason why our anxieties and fears can be overcome.

Every day we see things that prove the Bible true respecting all it teaches of the last days; 

Whether that be the implementation of a Digital Identification system that will BE IN PLACE BEFORE a Digital Currency can be employed to LIMIT all man can buy or sell, as per Revelation 13:17;

Or the ongoing persecution of the Jews that we are seeing rise again all over the world, forcing them to return to their homeland, as we see respecting the “latter times” written of in Isaiah 43

Isaiah 43:5–6

5 Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; 6 I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;

Isa 11:11

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people

  • So when my wife sends me videos from outside her office and I see the chants of the Hamas supporters in upper Colins st in Melbourne, heading to Parliament, I see the window for the coming of Christ shrink that little more.
  • When nations cede their sovereignty to a SUPRA National Organisation, such as the U.N. that window shrinks.
  • When wars and rumours of wars build, that window shrinks.
  • When I see the rise and wealth of the Kings of the East, such as China and India rise like has never been seen before, and the wealth of the people of western nations diminish like I have never seen before, that window for his coming shrinks again.
  • And when I see evident apostasy in the Church, and hear Jesus words ask, “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? ” Luke 18:8
  • When comes so close to home and those who I have ministered to and loved and cherished and encouraged, get so easily deceived by a divisive and deceptive wolf in sheep’s clothing, to have their affections so quickly turned, I “know that summer is near” (Mark 13:28) and I no longer have any fear! 

 Why? Because; “The Lord is at hand“.

Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t welcome “bad news“, nor do I look forward to “bad things happening“, my desire is to watch my grandchildren grow up and to continue to share the hope of Jesus in the gospel to as many people as possible;

But when the signs of the times are so evidently pointing to the soon return of my Lord and My God, I cannot help but become less fearful and more hopeful.

Paul did also, even from a cold Roman prison cell in which he had no certain confidence he would leave alive.

You can too, but only if you have HOPE FOR CHRIST!

Confidence Assured By Peace Through Christ

 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.

Beloved If it is true that your Fear is Dispelled By Joy in Christ, if you “Rejoice in the Lord Alway“, if you truly do “Rejoice Evermore“…

And if your Calmness, your moderation, your measured life is an evident witness to the outside world to your belief in the Authority of Christ, that HE and HE alone is in control of all things and that the world IS NOT FALLING APART, but more rather, the Bible is Coming Together….

And if all your Anxieties are truly Overcome by your HOPE For Christ, you know of a certainty that he is coming IMMINENTLY for his bride, and you “Love his Appearing“, that is, you are eagerly and earnestly look for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of a Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”,

Then with all of this already having laid the foundation of our expectation, there ought to be nothing remaining but that our CONFIDENCE IS ASSURED BY PEACE THROUGH CHRIST.

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.

Be Careful…” be literally “full of care”, for nothing, ‘be not worried’ we would usually say, but our bible render the consideration more accurately as it speaks of our care for things that are so far beyond our controls. 

Jesus used the same word when he worked to calm the concerns of Martha during his visit to them, 

Turn to 

Luke 10:41–42

41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Martha had been busy and bothered, preoccupied and troubled about many things. Notice that Jesus did not deny the validity of the troubles, he did not reject her concerns nor her worries, she was indeed full of the cares that preoccupied her mind and desired OTHERS TO AFFIRM THE validity of those cares;

“…dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me[1]

But instead Jesus corrected her THROUGH THE GOOD EXAMPLE OF Mary, having “Chosen that good part”, and you will notice that she, having chosen well, Jesus affirms that it “shall not be taken away from her”.

Beloved, allow no man or woman to deny you that peace that you choose in sitting at the feet of Christ. 

I tried to find reason, I tried in every way to understand why it is that our comfort and our joy and our hope and confidence should be found in the most simplest place of all and that is in Jesus Christ and I came to understand that HE HAD ALREADY DONE IT ALL.

We placed our entire soul in his hands and believed that wonderful gospel that he came and that he died for our sins, we gave our lives completely over to him for the sake of FOREVER, and should we now take it back because of a temporary discomfort?

Polycarp was the Bishop or Pastor of Smyrna (we shall learn more of him next week), he was a direct disciple of the Apostle John in the first century, and he stands before the proconsul who threatens him to be torn apart by wild beasts if he will not curse Christ and Polycarp refuses him and says;

“‘Eighty-six years have I served him, and he has done me no wrong: how then can I blaspheme my King who saved me?

Does Polycarp show any concerns about this temporal life? Is his CONFIDENCE NOT ASSURED BY PEACE THROUGH CHRIST?

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.

POLYCARP here gives to us a perfect picture of his confidence. He is not concerned of the manner in which he dies, he knows already reckons that ” the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18).

But the Proconsul is not through with his threats. Seeing Polycarp is not bothered about being bothered by wild beasts, the proconsul intensifies the trouble against this devout Child of God and says;

‘If you despise the beasts, unless you change your mind, I shall have you burnt,’ But Polycarp said: ‘You threaten the fire that burns for an hour, and after a little while is quenched; for you are ignorant of the fire of the judgement to come, and of everlasting punishment reserved for the ungodly.’”

Polycarp was indeed burnt, but the temporary flames did nothing to curb his confidence in the Lord. When we read that “all things work together for good to them that love God” in Romans 8:28, we come to understand that God has his focus on the whole life of man, not his temporal life alone. Polcarps life here is ended, but joy evermore began out of the fire.

Beloved, what we have through this passage is a true presentation of how we ought to both think and behave, how our confidence ought to be as children of the living God.

This world is rapidly coming to a close. Didn’t get caught up worrying about the affairs of this life. Dont waste time in fruitless arguments of the flesh, dont spend time concerned for the troubles that will come. Dont hold grudges against your brethren, be sure to have a heart ready to forgive, and especially be sure to bless your brethren and encourage them in the Lord.

But this single greatest blessing you can be, is to do that which the devil hates and Jesus died for, share the gospel with someone every day. Set a goal to speak of Christ to at least one person each day and give to them the opportunity to hear it.

If you do not know the Lord, and you see the trouble this world is in and are fearful, know that Jesus came and died specifically for you. It was YOUR name he had on his heart when he gave up the ghost, it is you that he calls to place your trust in him.

Will you believe the Gospel?

“The Lord is at hand”


{$NOTE_LABEL} The Holy Bible: King James Version. electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version. (1995). Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., p. Lk 10:40.


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