Perhaps like me, you might respond, “No– I have good reasons for my anxieties!” Most of us do. Life is not problem-free. Especially during the past year with Covid added on. In February we began our “Anxious for Nothing” journey. Messages have been based on Philippians 4. 4-9, along with Max Lucado’s book by the same title.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 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. 4-9
This past month our focus has been on learning to “rejoice in the Lord always.” The Apostle Paul says it twice. “Again I say rejoice!”Rejoicing is a practical way to replace anxiety, and fret, and worry with calm, and faith, and peace.
There are several reasons why we can rejoice, even in those times when it’s not an easy thing to do. A] We can rejoice in the Lord because He is LORD. He is sovereign. All powerful! He is the One who is in control of things, who created all things, and who can change things. B] We rejoice because God is merciful. He cares about us. He forgives our sin. He invites us to let go of our anxious burdens, and take on his much lighter load. C] We can rejoice because it helps us enter into the Lord’s presence, and remember His blessings.
In the month ahead we will be focusing on our need to “Ask God for Help.” There is a calm and gentle spirit available when we learn to rejoice, and to trust the Lord. Thus, we are encouraged, “Let your gentleness be evident to all.” Gentleness is not the characteristic of one who is anxious. It reflects a calm, and a peace. Anger, fear, frustration, and worry go with being anxious.
So in Philippians 4, we are reminded to let our light shine (through gentle- ness, and prayer, and faith). We are reminded as well, to ask God for help. “6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
One of my biggest faults is my unwillingness to ask for help. It probably has something to do with my “manly pride.” Perhaps it is because I might not trust someone else to do it right? Whatever my reasons are, I could learn a lot from my two-year old grandson. When he finds himself in a tough place he simply says, “Help.” He does not ask in a frantic way, just in a way that implies he trusts me to help. And I do.
We are instructed to ask God to help. Too often we wait until the last mi- nute, and we’re in a difficult place, before asking for help. We can ask at such times. We can ask when we see trouble coming, or when we begin to feel anxious. The peace we need, comes after we ask God, and trust Him to be Lord over our troubles.
What is making you anxious.? A financial concern? The death of a loved one? The stress of your job, or the worry of Covid? Are you anxious for nothing? We are invited by Paul, to rejoice, and then to pray and trust. I hope you will discover the peace that can come as you choose to rejoice, and then to trust and pray.
May you enjoy God’s blessings to You!