Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, 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 understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4-7 ESV
I would not call myself an anxious person. In fact I would like to think I am a positive person who tries to see the best in people and circumstances. But this passage struck me. Do not be anxious about anything. That is really powerful language. Are you sure not anything God? I can make a pretty quick list of what I would say are good reasons to be anxious. Deadlines at work. Key meetings and presentations, children, relationships, finances, need I go on? None of that God?
Let’s make one thing clear first, anxiety is. All of us deal with anxiety, and I don’t want to suggest for a minute some magic Christian formula will make it disappear, but instead I believe in this passage we hear God’s guidance of how to manage the anxiety that will inevitably come your way and mine. This passage begins with rejoice. Start first by focusing on God, on what He has done, on what He is doing, and what He will continue to do in your midst. Do it in such a way that you reflect “reasonableness” (is that even a real word?). This word means gentleness, kindness towards others. Then when and truly when, not if, anxiety creeps in, you take it to God. You take it to God in prayer, and believe that God not only can, but will do something about it. This might be the hardest part. We are good about telling someone, heck anyone who will listen, about our anxiety. What will it take for us to bring it to God our anxiety, trusting that He is able?
God offers this promise in the passage that by offering up our anxiety in prayer God will give to us a peace that surpasses all understanding. God will send you a peace that to others does not make sense. This goes even further, saying that this peace from God will guard your heart and mind. And that’s a really good thing for us, because our hearts and minds need constant protection. There is no shortage of factors in our lives that can and will cause us anxiety. God calls for us to be anxious about nothing, because we have a God who is in control, who holds our future in his hands, and who loves His people dearly.