For more than 70% of us in America, anxiety is a choice. It is a trickle of thought that now has cut a channel in our brain and thought process, and every thought flows into it. It takes some effort to extract ourselves, even if you are a Christian. It fogs our thinking. The moisture required to create enough fog to shut down a city block or, as we learned tragically last weekend, to crash a helicopter, consists of less than two teaspoons of water. Philippians 4:6-7 were the most highlighted verses recorded in Bible apps in 2019. They give us a formula for clearing the fog of anxiety from our lives.
“Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God, which passes understanding, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7.
We must first REJOICE IN THE LORD. We have to recalibrate how we find contentment, satisfaction, and even how we define happiness, and it begins here: REJOICE IN THE LORD. Rejoicing in the Lord presupposes that we KNOW Him. Is that true for you?
The second thought is we must intentionally, even ruthlessly RELEASE OUR ANXIETY. Some of us have a death grip on anxiousness. And yet, it is a poisonous serpent that is killing US! We just don’t know how to let it go.
Jesus addressed this very problem in Matthew 6… Jesus ends His approach by assuring us of this one thing: God will provide the strength we need for ANYTHING life brings to us WHEN WE NEED IT but not before. Like the Israelite’s gathering manna in the wilderness, they could only collect and keep enough for one day. Then they had to depend on and TRUST IN the Lord to bring them their supply for the next day. This is a principle that follows God’s dealing with people throughout the Bible. Give us TODAY… THIS DAY… our daily bread. It keeps our face turned toward God, and not our own strength to survive.
The third principle is this; we must make our REQUESTS KNOWN to God. God wants us to pray! He wants us to pray for everything… with THANKSGIVING. “God I’m taking my child to the doctor today but I am making request to You to help the doctor find the right medicine or treatment.” “God I have a meeting today with a prospective client… help me to have the right approach to gain their business.” “Lord, I am lonely and need a husband or wife. I am going on a date, but I’m asking You to lead me to know if this is a person You would want me to relate to.” “God I’ve got a test today… lots of stuff on it I’m not sure I understand.” Do you pray like that? Is your prayer life vital, real, ongoing with God or is it just, “Oh by the way God, would you bless this or that?” We are to “pray without ceasing.” We are “in all things to give thanks and pray.”
And the fourth and final piece of the puzzle is to RENEW YOUR THINKING. Let’s go back to a fundamental place: Anxiety is a battle in our minds. It’s about how we think, but also about what we think ABOUT. Our thoughts sometimes make God much too small. We make God smaller than He really is. We make it seem as though God isn’t aware of our issues… or He isn’t smart enough to fix them… not strong enough to handle them… not big enough to know our future… not compassionate enough to care what we’re going through. Yet Jesus said, “the very hairs of your head are numbered.” How much time do you spend looking at yourself in the mirror fixing your hair? Some of us don’t have to spend much. But others do… a lot. Yet as much time as you or your stylist spend looking at your hair, tell me how many hairs you have right now?
God cares about us… a lot! The smallest details do not escape His notice. He sees what you’re going through right now. Can you trust the One Who knows you best… and loves you most?