Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request 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)
In midst of societal confusion, anxiety and depression have become close to epidemics. Hallmark move channel is a favorite for many and almost every commercial has to do with anxiety and depression treatment. I flip the channel during commercials, in no way do I want this to stagnate my mind. We have to guard our hearts and minds, watching every step to avoid the devil’s attempt to filtrate minds to confuse and believe his lies. Paul understood; He was in prison, writing about joy and encouraging us to be anxious about nothing.
I do believe the Bible teaches how to handle every situation encountered. Paul faced death and the unknown with Nero killing Christians. We are left with encouragement- no matter what situation even to the point of death- we are not to be anxious about anything. In order to be free from anxious thoughts and actions, in everything we do- with prayer and petition, present our request to God. And….if we do this, God’s peace, which transcends all understanding, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Here is the trouble- when individuals try to intellectualize God’s inspired Word. When this happens, the world filtrates the mind, developing greater confusion. It takes a strong Spiritual force around us…to avoid being overtaken by all atheist readings, and leftist commentary. How would you feel if a CNN news clip was presented as an example in a sermon with two leftist, news and night show host, discussing pain as God’s gift? The presenter thought this was beautiful. Hmm…Wonder when Job was doubly blessed for all his tragic situations- lost his wife, his children, his livestock, sores and health issues, friends who encouraged failure…all due to God allowing satan to attack, because God knew Job would be faithful. I call these situations more a test than a gift.
Anxious or Peace?
Paul continues, if we want to avoid being anxious, we need to change our thinking. He said in verse 8: Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things. Imagine the effort we’ll need to change our thinking. Yet, making this effort to remove anxiety and depression, is how we avoid allowing the devil to steal, kill, and destroy. Instead, we accept God’s desire for us to live life to the fullest. Let’s move forward, breaking the devil’s grip from the culture’s embrace of anxiety and depression. When applying God’s Word, we avoid being anxious about anything. Begin practicing prayers and petitions, making our request known to God. In time, this process will become a natural part of our day. Peace will be our gift.