By Lisa Leidenfrost
“Rejoice in the Lord Always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus.” Phil.4:4-7
This is a great step by step approach on how to get rid of anxiety and worry. The verses walk you through it.
The first step is to rejoice. That sounds like a strange thing to do when you are in the midst of a deep concern but it actually is very helpful because it will set your mind in the right perspective to approach Him. What do you rejoice about? Some ideas are that He is your God and that He loves you and that He is in perfect control. Rejoice in His attributes and character. When you verbalize it, your perspective is starting to change to look up. Now you are in a better position to enter into the petition stage. But first you must do something else.
“Be anxious for nothing.” In other words, just stop being anxious for a minute because you are walking into the throne room to the great King who will give you His full attention. When you are actively anxious, you can be distracted and even not hear God, or after presenting your burden, take it right back again, so put the anxiety aside and go on to the next step.
“In everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” This is now the time to take everything that concerns you, whether small or great and give it over to God, one by one. But, there is always the risk of taking back what you just gave Him so there is another step that is hidden in the middle of the last one, and that is to hand the burdens over with thanksgiving. When you hand something over to Him, thank Him for taking it, thank Him that He has heard you with the matter being now in His hands and thank Him that He will act on your behalf as He sees fit. It helps you mentally to leave something with God when you seal the deal by thanking Him for taking it and for acting on your behalf.
What is the result? “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.”
Your heart and mind will be guarded, hedged with His peace. And it is a peace so deep that you can’t even understand why it can keep you in the midst of your trial. In this state you can now go through your trial and still stay standing at the end. But life isn’t always that easy and if five minutes later, you succumb in your thoughts to worry again. You go right back through the above. It is a process of training your mind to default up to God and not carry things yourself which does no good anyhow. It doesn’t matter how many times you stumble, as long as you confess, give things over, grow as a result and keep moving upward one step at at time. Nobody is perfect, that is why we need God.
God must have had that in mind when He gave us the following verses. They tell you when to pull the plug on a thought that threatens to get you off course.
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.” Phil. 4:8