"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:4-8
We are beginning week three in this study on how to deal with anxiety from a biblical perspective. Thus far we have established that the roots of anxiety are found in control issues.
We were able to trace back to a time before anxiety contaminated the human condition and Adam and Eve lived fully contented under the Sovereignty of God. But the Serpent deceived them into believing they could find greater happiness by taking control of their own lives. That selfish rebellion against God removed God's blessing and subjected them to the curse of a sinful nature. Men and women have struggled with anxiety ever since.
Writing from a dark, damp, dank dungeon cell Paul pens these verses to lead his beloved Christ-followers out of the anxiety of rebellion into the serenity of surrender to God's sovereignty. To begin that process Paul urges then to take control of four areas of their personal lives as they release control of everything else to God.
First, they are to "rejoice in the Lord always". That is, rejoicing in the reality that God is wisely and powerfully in control of everything we have surrendered to Him!
Second, they are to demonstrate the gentleness of one living in the presence of God and preparing for the Coming of the Lord.
Third, when feeling anxious they are to pray specific, personal and passionate prayers in an attitude of gratitude toward the Lord. As they do they will experience God's peace.
Finally, they are urged to focus their thoughts and fill their minds withpure, positive and powerful truths.
Anxiety is fueled when we try to wrestle control from God while failing to control what is within our power to control - aka - these four areas we just highlighted.
So, all things being equal, this is exceptional! You have it within your power and control to overcome anxiety and find His peace!