“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
Scripture is pretty clear that anxiety and peace cannot coexist. Paul admonished the believers of Philippi to “be anxious for nothing..”, turn it over to God in prayer and the peace of God will guard your hearts and your minds.
Yet, we as humans, in spite of our level of faith most often find ourselves anxious about EVERYTHING. Relationships. Careers. Kids. Finances. Bills. Etc. Etc. The flood of anxious thoughts never cease and we’re left in a crumbled emotional heap of worry.
In my early morning devotion I read the following: “Anxiety wraps you up in yourself, and traps you in your own thoughts…” Think about it. Anxiety imprisons you in your own fears. You literally build walls of worry around yourself, and you become a victim of your own fears. Typically, people who live this way create the very environment they are hoping to avoid.
“…Trust breaks the shackles of anxiety, realizing that God is an ever-present help in the time of need.”
The Psalmist said in Psalm 94:19 CEB, “When my anxieties multiply, your comforting calms me down.” The Hebrew word for anxiety here means, “tormented with cares and fears about my future state.”
Without question, I struggle (as many of you do) with anxious thinking. Anxiety in this biblical context. The torment of daily cares… the fears of an unknown future. The balance between fearing the unknown or trusting the unseen.
Look what Isaiah said in Isaiah 26:3-4 ESV, “YOU keep Him in perfect peace whose MIND is STAYED ON YOU, because he trusts in you. TRUST in the Lord forever,. for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.”
The Psalmist said, when my anxieties multiply… God can comfort me and calm me down. He can bring peace to my life! How? When I shift my thinking from worry to worship… when I shift my mind from fear to faith… when I set my mind ON JESUS, there is a comforting assurance of peace. Paul said, that peace can guard my heart from feeling hopeless, and it can guard my mind from fear. It’s peace that surpasses ALL UNDERSTANDING. It doesn’t make sense to natural eyes. Yet, in the middle of the storms of life… while anxieties multiply… I can walk in perfect peace. My trust isn’t connected to what I see, it’s connected to who I know.