A PEACE THROUGH ANXIETY
Philippians 4:4-7 NIV : “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.”
Anxious. A word that most of us are all too familiar with. In fact, I’ve noticed somewhat of a trend on social media over the last couple of years of people posting and sharing their struggle with anxiety. While openness is a great tool to overcoming, it occurred to me that we, as the children of God, don’t have to live under the weight of an anxious heart and mind. We can live in the freedom of a peace that “transcends all understanding.” Philippians 4:4-7 provides us with some instructions on how to overcome anxiety so we can live in that peace we so much desire.
“Rejoice in the Lord...” – The word “rejoice” means “to be glad; take delight.” Salvation alone is enough reason to rejoice in the Lord. But if you’re like me, and I’m sure you are, my list of reasons for taking delight in the Lord is miles long! When is the last time you’ve reflected on all the reasons you can “rejoice in the Lord?” Perhaps if we started our day thanking the Lord for just one of those reasons, our whole perspective would change.
“Let your gentleness be evident to all.” – Gentleness is one of the fruits of the spirit. It is a vital characteristic of those whom Christ abides in - a trait that allows the love of God to move through us to those who need to feel and see His love the most. Without it, we are harsh, bitter, and cold-hearted – the absolute opposite of the heart of God. Clearly, a gentle spirit is a doorway for peace to enter our lives. Let’s take a moment and think of some areas and relationships that would benefit from a gentle spirit.
“...in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God...” – If we’re honest with ourselves, most of us can admit that our natural first response to a “situation” is not prayer. Our human hearts and minds are more apt to reactions such as worry, gossip, and anger. But God is urging us to come to Him instead. He wants to trade our anxiety for His peace.
And what an incredible promise we find that follows...“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
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