"Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near." Philippians 4:5
Last week I established that there once was a time when stress and anxiety did not exist. Isn't it hard to imagine? Wouldn't that have been amazing! In fact, that would have been like paradise!
Wait! That WAS Paradise! It happened in Eden when Eve was deceived into taking control of her own life convinced it would make her happy!
There will be another time when anxiety will end but that won't happen until you arrive at the next Paradise, known as Heaven.
In the meantime, stuck between the first Paradise and the next one, we must learn to handle anxiety or it will handle us!
The conclusion that came out of our first week in this sermon series "Anxious for Nothing" is we handle anxiety by giving God control of all the things that are beyond our control and taking control of those few things we can control.
Max Lucado, in the book "Anxious for Nothing", which we are following during this 30 Days Study series he features four things we CAN control to help turn the chaos of anxiety into a contagious calm:
Celebrate God's goodness, Philippians 4:4
Ask God for help, Philippians 4:6
Leave your concerns with him, Philippians 4:6
Meditate on good things, Philippians 4:8
The results of taking control of these life disciplines will be demonstrated in what Max describes as a contagious calm or what Paul refers to as gentleness. In other words, someone who appears to be in control - a.k.a. - under God's control and in control of the helpful spiritual disciplines!
I know, doing these things are easier said than done. But you can do these because as Paul reminds "the Lord is near". And if He is near I can put Him in control of the multitude of things beyond my control and I can ask Him to help me control what I need to control.
We all get overcome by anxiety once in awhile. Sometimes it is hard to shake out of it. Perhaps that is where you find yourself today. If so, please allow me to remind you, "The lord is near!"
Will you commit to living that way today? Will you write it down? Will you keep it foremost in your mind? God is near and He is in control!