Anxiety. All of a sudden, we can run into it, like hitting a brick wall. That happened to me last week. I woke up at 4 a.m. with a start, and then I could not go back to sleep. Pressures, responsibilities, and deadlines started flooding my mind at a rapid pace.
“Lord, help me!” I prayed. “Show me how to handle this.”
“Philippians 4:6-7.” I sensed Him gently whispering the verse to my heart: “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 4:6-7, NIV).
Recognize Anxiety as a Signal
When we feel anxious, that’s a signal to turn to God. The Bible verse says, “Do not be anxious about anything.” Anxious moments will come, but God doesn’t want us to live in a continual state of anxiety, to be there habitually. Jesus came that we might have life, and have it abundantly (John 10:10). We find that kind of life with Him.
Pray to God
The word “prayer” in Philippians 4:6 is “proseuche,” in the Greek New Testament language. It means, “To look at God as He is, to pray, worship.” We have to choose to move our thoughts off the things causing us anxiety and onto the Lord, who is over all things.
I was amazed when I learned that the word anxiety (“merimna” in the Greek) actually means, “through the idea of distraction, solicitude, care.” The root of that word means, “to disunite, divide, give part.” Anxiety is an attempt by the enemy of our souls to distract and call us away from God, to get us to look at other things and make them bigger than our Lord. We must refuse to allow him to do that. We are told to cast all our anxiety (distractions) on the Lord, because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7, NASB).
How do we do that?
When we feel anxious, we must look to God and recite who God is. We must speak with God and listen to what He has to say. We grow closer to Him and stronger in our faith in the process.
To petition God means to ask Him to help, to give us what we need. We look to Him as the Source for all things and the Authority over everything in heaven and on earth. Instead of jumping right into how we are going to “solve” the problem, we ask the Lord for wisdom, power, and provision. We commit to do what He says, and we look expectantly for His answers.
Even before we witness God’s response, we can thank Him that He has the situation under control. We can thank Him for who He is, for His promises toward us, for His ability to do all things, for the great love He has toward us. Thankfulness indicates trust. We believe God is God, that He cares for us, and that He is able to do exceedingly and abundantly beyond what we could ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
We are told in Philippians 4:7 that if we go to God, focus on Him, ask for His help, and thank Him in advance, that He will supply His peace to guard (literally “umpire over”) our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. It will be a peace that makes no sense from a wordly perspective. The Lord will hold us in His peace. When our emotions or thoughts are tempted to drag us back into anxiety, the Lord’s peace will be calling to us as well. It will fight for and guard our well-being.
In His Word, the Lord has outlined anxiety medicine that works. He is the remedy to all our afflictions. He pardons all our iniquities, heals all our diseases, redeems our life from the pit, crowns us with lovingkindness and compassion, and satisfies our years with good things, so that our youth is renewed like the eagle (Psalm 103:3-5). With medicine like that, anxiety doesn’t stand a chance.
Question: How has the Lord helped you with anxiety? Comment at the link below.