Anxiety is an epidemic. People are taking more and more medication to combat anxiety because of what is happening in our world: The poor economic status of our country. Terrorism. Sickness and disease that currently runs rampant. The list goes on and on. It’s enough to make anyone anxious who doesn’t know the Lord and believe that He is in control.
Philippians 4:5-7 (NIV) is an excellent passage on which to focus when we feel anxious or stressed. The Apostle Paul says, “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.” Therefore, no matter how unsettling the situations we face in this life may be, God gave us a direct command in verse 6, “Do not be anxious about anything.” God will never give us a command, and not give us what we need to carry out His instructions. So in this passage, upon deeper study, we find the following four keys that will help us to overcome anxiety and stay peaceful in the midst of tumultuous times:
- Recognize that the Lord is near. Verse 5 says, “The Lord is near.” When you recognize and focus on the fact that God is with you, you don’t have to be anxious. Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you.” Anxiety is a sign you have simply lost your focus and forgotten that God is with you.
- Roll your cares onto God. Since the Father tells us not to be anxious in verse 6, He obviously wants to give us an alternative to deal with the negative emotion of anxiety. That is why He commands in I Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Therefore, bring everything that causes you anxiety before God and refuse to harbor and attitude of self-sufficiency.
- Remedy the problem through the application of the Word. Verse 6 gives further instruction about how to triumph over anxiety. This includes first praying praise-filled prayers about past victories. Next, petition God, tell Him what you need, and ask Him for His divine strategy. Finally, praise and thank Him for the victory in advance. At this point, when your faith is engaged, that opens the door for you to enter into God’s supernatural state of rest (Hebrews 4:3).
- Receive His peace. Once the Word is applied to the situation, verse 7 relays the supernatural Peace that surpasses all understanding will manifest to guard your heart. This truth is confirmed in Isaiah 59:9 which states, “When the enemy comes in like a flood the Spirit of God will raise up the standard against him.” In other words, God Himself will raise up the barrier of peace to shield your heart and mind from the onslaught of the enemy.
In summary, if you experience an anxiety attack, you must wage a counter-attack. In the midst of the storm, pray praise-filled prayers acknowledging how great and powerful God really is. Petition Him by asking him to help you and deliver you from whatever is causing the anxiety. Begin to praise and thank Him in the midst of the attack as if you really believe that He will help, protect, and defend you. You will then experience the peace of God, the peace that Jesus died to give you, coming in like a flood to guard your heart.
How do you deal with anxiety? Do you have a testimony about being delivered from anxiety? Please leave a comment below.
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