Anxiety steals our peace.
It also causes us to lose connection with the Lord as we turn inward thinking over and over about what is bothering us and not going to God for His comfort or going to Him but not hearing His voice over the noise in our mind.
The Lord has an answer for anxiety in the Scripture below from Philippians 4:4–
The Lord is near.
Be anxious for nothing,
but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving let your requests
be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all
shall guard your hearts and your minds
in Christ Jesus.
The Lord is near.”You are not alone. You do not have to hold up under your anxious circumstances by yourself because The Master of all is with you.
The first thing to do when you worry is come to His presence.
Be anxious for nothing.” When we read this phrase in Greek we see that it is a command, not a suggestion. The Lord who is with us commands us not to worry, not to be anxious about anything in our lives. Nothing means not one thing is to make you anxious.
Okay, how in the world am I not to worry, not to be concerned about life?
God is telling us that there is something else we can do besides worry. Instead of having anxiety, we are to talk with Him about our concerns.
This is how to help cure anxiety.
“By Prayer and Supplication.” The prayer most of us understand as talking with God, but supplication is a word that few of us use today. It means to make an appeal, a plea, a petition, or request.
So now, we are commanded to not worry but to talk with the Lord who is near and ask Him for what we want, let your requests be made known to God.
Go to the Almighty and make your appeal for a change in your situations
And we are to do this “with thanksgiving.” We are thankful that He hears our prayers, is involved in our lives, loves us greatly.
Go to God, Let go of anxiety –
Okay, we are commanded not to worry or have anxiety BUT go to the Lord in prayer, making our requests and being thankful. Now, look at the next section of this Scripture:
“and the peace of God, that is surpassing all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.”
The peace of God comes after we go to Him. We remember that He is Lord Almighty. We acknowledge that He is Sovereign, good, righteous, powerful, loving, kind, and wise beyond measure.
We could spend a whole day talking about how great He is and how wonderful.
Knowing that He is near to us, is listening to our requests, that He loves us deeply and unconditionally and that He is all-
Does God ever have anxiety?
If you know all things –
If you were fully capable of intervening and directing history to fulfill your desired outcome,
If you had an eternal plan not only for the world but for everyone that loves you and
If you knew that there is no one that is your equal to stop what you have decided to do,
Would there be any reason to worry?
Would not peace be your continual state of being?
This is our God. He is at peace and offers that peace to us.
To be at complete and constant peace is something that we as humans do not have, but here, in this passage, God is saying that He will give His peace to us when we come to Him, asking for what we need, thankful for who He is and trusting in what He can do.
That peace of God protects our hearts and our thoughts because of and in Christ Jesus. The Spirit of Christ lives within us who believe and Scripture tells us that we have the mind of Christ. When we are present with Christ, with God, our hearts calm and our minds no longer worry.
Okay, now what?
Trade your anxious thoughts for new ones.
Now that you have found peace about your circumstances what are you to do with the anxiety-filled thoughts that will come and try to take that peace away? In this next piece of Philippians, the Lord provides the answer.
This part of the passage is often overlooked but is the key to keeping your peace.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true,
whatever is honorable,
whatever is right,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is of good report,
if there is any excellence
and if anything worthy of praise,
let your mind dwell on these things.
After talking with the Lord and receiving His peace, from now on control your mind.
Instead of anxiety filled thoughts discipline your mind to think of what is true, what has dignity, things that are right according to the Lord, things that are pleasing, what is of good standing.
Think about what is excellent and worthy of praise. Consider these things in your mind rather than allowing anxiety in your mind.
We cannot think of two things simultaneously. When we think of what is true about God we are not thinking about the scary things that could happen.
Add truth to truth:
This is a hard circumstance (truth) but God is all-powerful and good (truth)
I am scared (truth) but God is all-
Do you see how “think on these things” can be added to any problem in your life?
Now take action
The things you have learned
and seen in me,
practice these things;
and the God of peace shall be with you.
What have you learned and seen and received since you became a Christ-follower? Start practicing them!
In a nutshell
In the first part of our passage, we were told that the “peace of God” would be with us. Now, the passage ends with “the God of peace” being with us.
He gives us His peace
He gives us Himself
as we go to Him, think truth and do what we know to do. That is God’s cure for anxiety.