How many people these days struggle with that little thing called anxiety? I know I do... being a college student is not an easy thing and it causes a good amount of stress in my life. What I'm about to write about is something that I need constant reminding of in my own life.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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." -Philippians 4:6-7
The very first thing we see in this verse is the command to not be anxious. Now believe me, I know that is a lot easier said than done... but when Paul wrote this, he immediately gave us a way to do that. In EVERYTHING, with prayer and petition, present your requests unto God. When we open up a conversation with God, we are immediately entered into His presence, so this verse is basically telling us to take all of our fears and anxieties straight into the presence of God. Now, notice that I capitalized the word everything a few sentences ago... in this verse the Greek for everything "pas" translates into "all, the whole, or every kind of". This verse is telling us to take literally everything to God. No situation is too big or too small for God. He can handle everything you throw at Him, since He already knows what's going on anyway. Anxiety has no benefits for our lives today... all it does is tear us apart and cause distrust in God and it leaves us feeling empty. Paul offers us prayer as an antidote for anxiety. Take everything to God, and trust that He can take care of it.
Something else that we see in this verse is the word "thanksgiving". Now, it's not talking about the holiday in November when we stuff ourselves to the brim with food and watch parades and football games. It is talking about giving thanks to God for our lives. We are called to give thanks to God in every circumstance in our lives. God has a plan, He knows what’s going on… and we’re called to thank Him and praise Him through it all. So here we see that were are to present our requests to God with a thankful heart. Thank Him for the fact the we even have the capability to go straight to Him with our burdens and with our pains without going through someone else first. Thank Him for the unending blessing He’s already bestowed on you, and thank Him that He hears His children… I mean, how awesome is that? The God of the universe, who could easily ignore us all… hears each and every one of our prayers and cries to Him.
Verse 7 says "and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." The peace of God which transcends all understanding. Think about that! Some other versions (I'm using NIV) use the word "surpasses" and it you look at in the original Greek the word surpasses translates into "I excel, surpass, am superior." God's peace is superior to our anxiety! His peace excels past our fears and is greater than our worries! The Greek for "will guard" is actually a military term meaning "to protect or surround a city". God's peace is like soldiers surrounding the hearts and minds of believers. The last words "in Christ Jesus" are so significant here. Jesus Christ is the only way we are able to have such peace. We must have a personal relationship with Him in order to have this peace. We get anxious and nervous because we are human, we are a fallen people... but through Christ's work on the cross we are saved and IN HIM all fear and anxiety are gone.
What are you anxious about? What fear are you holding onto?
Tonight, I encourage you to bring those things before the throne of Christ and lay them at His feet. Allow God's peace to overwhelm and flood your heart.