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Be Anxious For Nothing
by Mark Perkins, elder on March 12th, 2012

As I reflect on my daily walk with the Lord, one of the areas I openly confess I can struggle with is anxiety. In particular, I have found work-related deadlines and constant change are frequent contributors to my anxious feelings. Other factors include raising teenagers, paying for college, caring for aging parents and coming to grips with the fact that I too am getting older! Maybe you can relate?

By one definition, anxiety is a displeasing feeling of fear, worry, uneasiness, or dread. I have to assume it is a common experience for mankind because God’s word is not silent on the topic and addresses it clearly. Meditating on His word is a great antidote to anxiety. Many verses are applicable, but one in particular I have taken great comfort in is Philippians 4:5b-7.
“The Lord is near. 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 comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

When I am confronted with my anxious thoughts, I am comforted knowing that my Lord is near. He is not far off tending to other more pressing issues. He is right here with me, ready to help. Also note that in everything we are to present our requests before the Lord in prayer. Did you catch what He said? Everything. I take great hope in knowing that there is not a single difficulty or trial that does not escape the sovereign knowledge of my Lord. And I am to come with a grateful heart. Gratitude to God is to accompany all true prayer. And in His wise and loving response, God gives me what I really need during my anxious times…peace! Our God is good and He promises us peace that combats our anxious thoughts. Note that this peace of God will guard your heart and mind. The word guard is a military term meaning “to keep watch over”. God’s peace guards believers from anxiety, doubt, fear and distress.

I like how Dr. John McArthur in his commentary states that the peace of God is a God-given inner calm that is promised to the believer who has a thankful attitude based on unwavering confidence that God is able and willing to do what is best for His children.

In closing, I am reminded of the words from the old hymn What A Friend We Have In Jesus:

What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Maybe you are struggling with anxiety. If so, my hope is that you will find the God-given peace promised to you in scripture as you turn over your thoughts and circumstances to the Lord in prayer.


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