4:6,7 “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)
Anxiety has an insidious way of getting my attention. It renders me unsettled, rattled, unfocused, on edge. It is a subtle monster that seeks to draw me in. Sometimes it rages. Sometimes it hides. To be sure, it lurks and lives like an undercurrent all the time. I want it crushed, gone.
Can you relate? Are you sensing a strong surge of anxiety coming your way? Entertaining any unnecessary fear that’s weighing you down? Need some lift today?
God offers some great coaching on anxiety-free living. Join me in taking a good look at His Playbook on this subject. Here is a breakdown of today’s Scripture that’s helped me so much:
Give Anxiety the boot. Each time it comes my way, don’t answer the door. No occasion is acceptable. God says this squatter must get evicted. It cannot be entertained. It cannot take up residence. Anxiety is even dangerous to our health. “Not everything that gets my attention deserves my attention” must be repeated until its eviction takes place.
Eliminate anxiety the right way, the only way that really works … through God. That means putting prayer into the middle of every anxious moment and inserting thanksgiving into each trial faced.
So pray and give thanks continually. Entertain no other first options. They don’t work like this pair.
Expect uncommon, sustaining peace to show up, the protecting peace of God. It buffets any advance of anxiety and holds me together. It guards me like an All-NBA defender against every anxiety attack.
God’s peace faithfully shows up whenever prayer, petition and thanksgiving are truly expressed.
Stress is good. It makes me stronger. It causes me to grow. But anxiety is not. It cannot accompany my stress. Know the difference. Appreciate stress. Abhor anxiety (James 1:2).
Remember that God means for trials to grow my roots deep. As they do, I become stronger, not stressed; better, not bitter; mature and complete, not lacking anything (James 1:3,4).
Isn’t that a good recipe, a good game plan for crushing anxiety!
Reflect: Memorize Philippians 4:6,7 and Psalm 139:23,24. And quietly recite them often (Romans 12:2 and 2 Corinthians 10:5 are a great pair as well!). Practice prayer that both worships God in every circumstance and petitions Him for perspective, power, wisdom and deliverance.
Practice Thanksgiving/ThanksLiving. Nothing drives out fear like gratefulness.
Share all the above with someone else today. They might need real lift too.
A prayer to consider: LORD, You see what’s under my hood. Lift my soul and my reflecting countenance. Crush my anxiety. Don’t let me get stuck in the ditches of disappointment and despair.
Fill me with your Spirit of thankfulness and welcome my continual communion in prayer. Free me from every anxious thought and lead me in the way everlasting … just like Jesus. For my joy and emancipation in You and Your great glory. Amen.