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)
For many of us, one of the biggest roadblocks on the Path to Perfect Peace in anxiety. We have mastered worrying about almost anything! And yet we are told we should be anxious about nothing. How do we embrace this critical milestone on the Path to Perfect Peace?
The Apostle Paul, in prison while he penned these words, gives us three clear steps…
First, pray. I often make this the last thing I do! Paul puts it right at the beginning. I have plenty of history from past events that God is faithful in answering my prayers according to His will (which is so much better than my own!). We have not because we ask not. “Oh, what peace we often forfeit…” as the hymn reminds us.
Second, be thankful. We would come much closer to the Path of Perfect Peace and avoid much anxiety if we would just learn to be thankful people. Related to this, train your mind to think about encouraging, positive things. Don’t dwell or expose yourself to the things that bring you anxiety. If watching the news or your social media feed brings you anxiety, limit your exposure. Replace it with times in which you “Count your blessings” – yet another great reminder from the hymns!
Third, remember your audience. You are speaking to God. He’s the One who shaped the universe and holds it in the palm of His hand. However big or small your issue may be, He’s got it well-covered. As our theme verse for the year (Isaiah 26:3) reminds us, perfect peace can be ours if we will just keep our minds stayed on God, not the problem, and learn to fully trust Him.
Who among us doesn’t want an anxiety-free life? It can be ours as we put Paul’s three steps into practice. Holy Spirit – please help us to do just that!
This is the first in the “Trust in Turmoil” series of blog posts. Future week’s posts on this topic will come from one of our close friends from the Philippines!