“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 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 4:4-7)
“Do not be anxious about anything.”
Imagine what it would be like to live out this single sentence. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? The good news is that it is possible and Paul gives us very helpful advice in making this a reality in our lives. He gives us three action steps to take in order to defeat anxiety and discover the peace of God in our hearts and minds: Prayer, Thanksgiving and Worship.
When we feel anxious, our first response should be to bring it to the Lord in prayer.
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
Another way to address anxious thoughts and feelings is through thanksgiving. Think of all the things you have to be thankful for and express your gratitude to the Lord for His abundant goodness.
“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… And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9)
Perhaps the best way to defeat anxiety is through the act of worship.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
These three things will strengthen our relationship with God and increase our trust that God still has the whole world in His hands.
But Paul also gives advice on how we treat one another.
“Let your gentleness be evident to all.”
The way we treat one another most definitely impacts our level of anxiety.
Join with me in praying these words from Psalm139:
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Peace be with you!