Do Not Be Anxious

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 4:6-7 ESV

Anxiety is a feeling of fear, dread, and uneasiness. It might cause you to sweat, feel restless, tense, and have a rapid heartbeat. Oftentimes these symptoms can be a normal reaction to the stress we encounter daily. Unfortunately, it has become the number one mental health issue in North America. It’s estimated that one-third of North American adults’ experience issues from anxiety.

Can you imagine going an entire day without worrying? It can be so easy to allow ourselves to get caught up in our thoughts and anxieties. We tend to dwell on these thoughts and emotions, and we let them take hold of our mind-space. God actually wants us to live our lives worry-free. Instead of putting our energy and mind space towards our worries and anxious thoughts, what if we put it into praying? What if instead of sitting and adding to our worries, we give all of our thoughts to God? In Philippians, Paul encourages us to do just this. He says when we finally begin to pray about everything instead of worrying, we will receive peace. We all struggle and face anxiety in different ways. Some may struggle with being fearful, some may be anxious about the unknown, and some experience anxiety in rejection or failure. Anxiety presents itself differently for everyone, and some people may experience anxiety that’s out of their control. If that is, you- please hear this clearly: anxiety is not a sin. But the way we handle our anxiety can consume us completely. If you’re struggling with clinical anxiety, please seek professional help. As you work through your anxiety with a trusted counselor, then you can start to focus on taking every intrusive thought captive to God. Are we learning to confess our anxiety as sinful distrust in the character of God? Are we choosing to pray with thanksgiving, affirming our trust in God’s wise and faithful care?

God doesn’t dismiss your fears. Instead, He gently shows you how to deal with them. 

Challenge: Begin to think about what your anxious thoughts are. Today, wrestle with what makes you anxious. What are the feelings and thoughts that hold your mind captive? Begin to have a conversation with God and give him your thoughts, asking him for help and thanking him for what he has done. Be open to receiving his peace.

I confess, Lord, that I so often prefer worry over prayer. Thank you that you invite me to cast all my cares upon you. I pray that I may learn to do that with a heart of continual thanksgiving.

Daily Prayer: Father God, I acknowledge today that I often tell myself a solely negative story, and I forget Your hand of blessing in my life. I tend to focus so exclusively on my problems that I overlook how You led me through storms in the past. Lord, help today as I speak to You about my trials to also spend time in thanksgiving. Because even in the wilderness and the weariness, You are with me and Your grace is sufficient. I thank You today because You promise to work all things out for my good and Your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen

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