I have had anxious moments.
So have you.
There are times I catch myself worrying over something I shouldn't.
You probably have too.
That is not what Paul has in mind when he pens these words. The root word he uses for "anxious" literally means "to choke" or "to squeeze". He is referring to being so overcome by fear, worry and anxiety that your energy is low and your blood pressure is high and your sleep is troubled.
The Apostle, writing from a dark, damp prison chained to a Roman guard knowing his life depends on the whims of a psychotic Emperor named Nero. If anyone had reason to be anxious it was him. Yet he wrote with complete integrity when he admonished the Philippians to be anxious for nothing!
I have had an anxiety attack. I never want to have another one. I was overcome by worry, despair and hopelessness and felt absolutely powerless to do anything about it. It was the lowest moment of my life. I emptied every glass, coffee cup and dish in my cabinet and shattered them against my brick fireplace.
It wasn't until I began cleaning up the mess that I realized how totally out of control I had been.
Once you are overcome by anxiety it is followed by deep feelings of shame and guilt. Before you know it you are caught in a powerful downward spiral.
Studies have found that 17% of Americans suffer from severe anxiety. When you do the math it factors to 56,000,000 people!
Prescriptions for anti-anxiety medications have more than doubled in the past 20 years.
If worry was an Olympic event America would take the Gold Medal.
But in view of all those facts Paul assures us it is possible to "be anxious for nothing"! How can that be?
Here's the answers! There are five anxiety fighting statements below. Can you find them?