The Banner Of Truth 2014
Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. (Psalm 60:4 )

"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth" (Ps. 60:4).
Man’s Tendency to Carefulness
By Al Stoner

“In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7, ASV). Such is the exhortation of the Apostle Paul to believers in Christ regarding carefulness.
This present evil world, through which we are presently journeying, is a domain where continuing stress, strain, and uncertainties are regularly encountered by all men, and this by God’s design. Unstable and unpredictable situations of life are things which translate into great carefulness and end up being born, as heavy weights, by the human spirit.
Because of the evil and swift-paced time in which we live, life’s routine situations can often be found to be a cause for great anxiousness and excessive disquietude regarding many things. And God’s people certainly have not been exempted from, nor are they immune to, these often heart-wrenching phenomena. Concerning the saints especially, there are, for example, many job situations, which at one time seemed to be very gainful and secure, but which are no longer such. There are many financial endeavors that are tottering in the balances, and some which have already failed. Then there is the matter of failing health, either personal, or pertaining to loved ones. 
But even more fundamental and basic than these more evident cares and troubles is the care associated with life in this present evil world, and with the ongoing conflict between the new man and the old man.  For the believer in Christ, the need for being delivered from “the body of this death” (Rom. 7:24) is often acutely felt. “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Gal. 5:17).   The feeling and sense of being “emptied from vessel to vessel” (Jer. 48:11) is ever present.  For those living by faith in the Son of God, the terrain in this present world is extremely uneven, making it all essential for men to be ever looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.
But we would be remiss if we did not also draw attention to a higher level of worry and carefulness, namely the concern for the success and welfare of the church of the living God in a time when it appears to be all but failing (cf. II Cor. 11:28). The thought of things such as these, as well as many others, are often considerations that are exceeding difficult to bear, and frequently become a cause for great solicitude and, at times, even anguish of soul.
The Divinely Ordained Remedy for Carefulness. Let us give thanks that our heavenly Father has not left us to ourselves with regard to the matter of carefulness. We shall now consider three well-known portions of the Word of God that bear on this subject. Though there are many more that we could mention, we shall confine ourselves to these due to limited space.
The Ministry of Due Consideration. “And He said unto His disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment” (Lk. 12:22-23). “Consider the ravens . . .” (v. 24). “Consider the lilies . .” (v. 27).
When speaking on the matter of our tendency to carefulness, the Lord Jesus called upon the disciples to consider. Consider God’s great involvement with the moment by moment tending of the rest of His creation (see Ps. 104:1-31). As specific examples, He faithfully takes care of birds and flowers. He sees that the birds are sufficiently fed and that the flowers are beautifully clothed.
They cheerfully remain with us to this day. God’s great care can be evidently seen over all of His works.  The obvious question that now remains is whether He would also consistently demonstrate that same tender and loving care to those of His creation who are made in His image. Would He not even show a much greater care to such ones? If He would not leave ravens and lilies untended, would He leave you or me or any of His children untended? “He is” even “kind unto the unthankful and to the evil” (Lk. 6:35). To ask these questions, therefore, is to answer them. (Incidentally, the bedarkened scientific age, in which we live, has, for the most part, taken away from men their ability to reason with simplicity in matters such as this.)
The Blessed Recourse to Prayer and Supplication. “Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication (petitions to God of an extremely earnest nature) with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7).
Oftentimes it seems that, when troubles come flooding into our souls, the only recourse that remains to be taken by us is that of prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. But what a wonderful recourse this is for the people of God! Let your requests, therefore, be made known unto Him who has all power and might, and to Him who does not slumber nor sleep! 
We must also carefully consider that what is promised here is not necessarily the complete removal of that which is causing the anxiousness on our part (although God is certainly able to do this).  Rather, the Divine commitment that is made to us is that our hearts and minds shall be kept. But not only this: they shall be preserved by the peace of God which passes all understanding. And they shall be kept through Jesus Christ.
Identifying the Source of our Trouble. “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you” (I Pet. 5:6-7).
When troubles come our way, we must not resort to blaming men or circumstances. We must look much farther than this! Let us rather humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand. Let us acknowledge that, at least from this higher perspective, that it is the Lord that sent the trouble our way, to humble us, to prove us, and to know what is in our hearts (cf. Deut. 8:2, 16). And He who has humbled us shall also exalt us in due time.
Casting all your care upon Him. What a blessed condition is ours, seeing that we may cast all of our carefulness and concerns upon our God and Savior. It is He who is calling us to His kingdom and glory (cf. I Th. 2:12). Therefore, whatever vexes or distracts those who are en route to the heavenly kingdom, in a very real sense, becomes His “care and concern” as well.
For He careth for you. There will come times when it may be very difficult for our faith to get a hold of this affirmation of the Apostle. Nevertheless, those who have believed on His only begotten Son, and who are continuing in the faith, God actively, tenderly, and continually cares for them. It is one thing to have family and friends who care for us, but what a blessed privilege it is that we have a heavenly Father who lovingly and earnestly attends to us (compare Lk. 15:20), and who graciously invites us to cast all of our care upon Him!

"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;  and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately" (Lk. 12:35-36).