Rejoicing or Being Anxious – Your Choice

Philippians 4:4, 6-7   4 ¶ Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice …6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

These are some of the most underlined verses in the Bible and yet one might say “Easier said than done”.  Do not worry about anything is huge statement.  We tend to worry or rather we tend to be anxious about things in our lives.  When we look at things around us and what is happening in the world it affects each of us in different ways.  We look at things from different perspectives.  The concerns we have about things vary and each concern and anxiety we have is personal and intimate to each of us.

For example, a mother or father who has a son or daughter in the military may be concerned they might be deployed and those who are deployed about their safe return.  One might be concerned about a teenager who has learned how to drive and is out with friends.  There is concern about finances and about health; about relationships within a family; about recovery from an addiction; about peace in the world.  Recently we went through a time of anxiety with the approach and the landing of Hurricane Irma and about family and friends in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Maria.  And with the media sensationalizing it, some even experienced PTSD when it had past.

It is easy to be anxious, it is hard to give over our worries and anxiety and place our trust in God.  How can we as the Apostle writes, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice” when all these things surround us?  It is because we have the assurance that God is always there with us and we can go to Him.  It is not that we will be devoid of things that might cause anxiousness, they will always be present, but that we have the assurance that God will provide the strength to get us through the things we face.

God always provides a way for us.  The answer to anxiety and worry is through prayer and supplication.  This doesn’t mean we are apathetic or inactive, it means we trust in whatever God gives us will be good and carry us through.  Having this kind of faith and trusting God will give us peace that passes all understanding because we yielded to God.  It will guard our minds and hearts from falling back into that anxiety and concern.  The Apostle Peter reminds us of this in his epistle;  1 Peter 5:6-7   6 ¶ Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time.  7 Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.  So Rejoice always because we have a God who takes all of our anxieties when we pray and cast all our cares on Him knowing He loves us and will give us peace in our situation.

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