Peace: The Solution to Defeating Anxiety
The world is a busy place. With hectic schedules, difficult responsibilities, and families to deal with, it’s hard to be still and catch your breath sometimes. Our circumstances often seem out of control, leaving us helpless and afraid.
The Apostle Paul is no stranger to difficult circumstances. He went through many traumatic experiences. He was beaten several times, thrown in and out of prison, and was even adrift at sea (2 Corinthians 11:27). And yet Paul learned the secret to having peace in the midst of the craziness of life: praying about everything!
“Do not be anxious about anything, 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 understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:6-7
Paul first commands us to “not be anxious about anything.” He knows that we humans have a tendency to worry. The solution to defeat anxiety is prayer. Paul explains that prayer can be summarized in two steps:
1. Thanking God for everything.
2.Giving our concerns and requests to God.
Thanking God is something that does not come naturally to us. We believe that we have the things we do because we deserve them or because we have earned them. Once we realize that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17), and that even our next breath is a gift from God, it will become easier to thank God for everything we have. Above all, we should be thankful for God’s love and care for us as His children.
Whenever we have a need or request, God wants us to share it with Him. He can handle it, and He delights in hearing from us. When we thank God for everything and share our requests with Him, we are promised that God’s unimaginable peace will wash over us. The peace of God “guards” or protects our hearts and minds like a fortress protects those inside of it from the chaos that is happening outside.
Here are some practical things you can do to experience God’s peace in your life:
1. Before you get out of bed in the morning, begin your day with prayer while thinking about the day ahead. Give your concerns and worries to God and pray for His peace to guard you.
2. During the day, try to notice the good things, no matter how small or insignificant, as gifts from God. Anytime you notice them, immediately take time to praise God.
3. As you lay your head on your pillow at night, thank God for the things He has given you and what He has done for you.