COVID-19 Faith Threads Mental Health

be anxious for nothing, peace that passes understanding

September 22, 2020
be anxious for nothing, peace
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Be anxious for nothing, a peace that surpasses understanding.

For a while over the summer of 2020, I felt angry, anxious, and occasionally fearful, so I want to share how we can overcome the negative. With all of the constant bad news, it was hard to get my bearings and keep the undercurrent of anxiety at bay. I worked on changing my music, my attitude, and my overall environment. We turned off our “cable” and spent more time with our daughter’s family and grands, but the hotter it got, the worse I felt physically too. Whenever I woke up at night, that verse “Be anxious for nothing” would come to mind and that was my prayer.

Admittedly, I was (I am) nervous about the state of the world, especially here in the states. Marxism snuck into the daily discourse and if left unchecked is an attack on Christianity, democracy, and liberty. 

So, I continue to pray “God help me be anxious for nothing.”

In particular, in September in Mississippi, when the air was still steamy and bordering on miserable, the news trickled out about that many of the massive constant fires in the Northwest were actually arson. (For example: Article on arsonists in Oregon.) Like the riots, people were doing this on purpose. Adding the arson to riots, rising crime, the election, masks, and lockdown, it was hard to feel anything but stress. On top of all that, hurricane season came barreling back. So what do we do?

I stopped watching the chaos unfolding in video, but I kept reading it. I say all of that to let you know that if you are having trouble keeping a positive outlook, you are not alone. Many people I talk to feel the same way.

Philippians 4:6,7

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.…

But, how do we do that really? How do we “Be anxious for nothing?”

Philippians 4:6

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

To be anxious for nothing, you start with thankyou’s, with thanksgiving, and acknowledgment of God. It ground us and puts us in God’s presence.

But in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving…

If you haven’t been able to pray effectively or even get going at all, start with thanksgiving. Thank God for every good and perfect gift in your life. Make a list of every simple blessing you can think of until you run out of things to be thankful for. Prayer should always start with thankyou’s. Humility and a grateful heart opens doors, especially in prayer. 

Meeting with God regularly in prayer brings the peace that surpasses understanding. Sometimes even a moment brings the peace.

Philippians 4:7

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.…

When Jesus taught the disciples to pray, he started by acknowledging God, who God is, and giving praise. Then step by step, he taught his powerful prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever and ever.

Amen

When we pray using his words and his guidance in prayer, when we acknowledge God and invite his presence, the peace that passes understanding will settle over us like a blanket.

As we thank God for every blessing, every gift, large and small, humility and thanksgiving softens our hearts and opens doors.

If all this mess with fires, the election, rioting, the virus, shut down, or recent loss has you down, take a few moments. Slow down and pray with intention. Turn off the noise, add some joy with music and let go of anxiousness.

Allow the peace that surpasses understanding to overtake you.

God is still in control.

Amen, let it be so,

Kim

For more on “Be anxious for nothing” Read: Prayer is simple even when the problem isn’t.

For a joyful pick me up post on Autumn, read Autumn’s Gifts.




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