Do you feel like you worry all the time? Are you overwhelmed by your busy life and feel like you can never “get it together”? Have you experienced panic attacks or do you lie awake at night because your thoughts won’t let you sleep? Did you know there is an answer in the bible for all of that? Anxiety is the most prevalent condition that plagues our nation and many just ignore the simple remedy laid out in Philippians 4:4-9
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
1. Rejoice in the Lord. Seek joy not in activities, relationships, hobbies, jobs, vacations, possessions, money, food or any other such thing…but seek and find ultimate joy in God who is the maker and giver of all joy. Everything this world can offer will fade away, especially when times get difficult. But the joy found in the Lord is everlasting and can be enjoyed for eternity.
2. Worship the Lord. Though we are specifically called in these verses to pray, I think if we look at the example given to us by Jesus himself we will see that “the Lord’s Prayer” begins with praise to God… “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name”. We are instructed to praise our creator before we even think about asking for anything.
3. Present your requests. After you have lifted up praise to your Father, then you can “petition” before Him. When your anxiety has gotten the best of you, turn your worry list into a prayer list and cry out to God.
4. Thank God for His provisions. Though your worries may at time seems greater than your blessings…simply possessing the saving faith that gives you access to the Father gives you more than enough reason to be thankful. I have read these verses often, but seemed to always overlook the part about thanksgiving. But it is amazing how much relief we find from anxiety when we are less focused on what we don’t have and are truly thankful for the things we have been given.
5. Think on good things. The final verses in this section tell us that we shouldn’t just stop worrying, but we should replace those worries with better thoughts. Thinking on the truth of the word of God, the promises of God and the pure and lovely character of God draws us out of the state of despair and chaos and places us in the strong arms of our Savior. When you find yourself worried about a particular situation, make a list of all you know to be true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable from the Bible.
When you do these things, the Bible says that God will give you peace…a peace that doesn’t even seem possible in the midst of your circumstances, a peace that is promised to you.