An Antidote to Anxiety: Philippians 4

Earlier this week I was down and anxious and my husband gave me this passage of scripture:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 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.

Finally, brothers and sisters, 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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:4-9

This passage has been a powerful reminder that I am not gaining anything by worrying; the opposite is true it negatively affects me. It saps my energy and time plus circumstances often resolve in a different way to what I am concerned about. Verse 6 tells me what I should be doing instead of worrying is praying with thanksgiving. This can be hard especially the thanksgiving but what has helped me this week is to focus on the other parts of this passage.

I am called to lift my eyes to God and away from my circumstances and to delight in what he has done for me (verse 1). This week I have been marvelling at the eternity I will spend with God after hearing an excellent sermon on death (here). This week I have not always found it easy to lift my eyes to God; I have had to consciously stop thinking about negative things and instead on the good things listed in verse 8.

When I started handing over my situation to God I can testify that he has given me his peace. What do you need to bring before him today and thank him for? What good things can you focus your mind on?

If you would like to read more on this topic, some of my related posts include:

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