Our God specifically addresses the problem of worry in Philippians 4. He gives practical guidance to help us enjoy the "peace of God which surpasses all understanding."
In sum, the Lord lays forth 4 steps to gainning the victory over anxiety. We must...
1. Feel Right - Notice the accent on emotional control in Philpians 4. God tells us "do not be anxious." In other words, don't let yourself be dominated by the emotion of worry. Instead, we must "rejoice in the Lord" and "let your reasonableness (i.e. restraint of passion) be known."
Paul promises that we will feel the "Peace of God which surpasses all understanding." But it is of note that God works that peace as we seek to put off ungodly feelings and put on godly feelings.
2. Pray Right - "In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." Phil 4:6
Sinclar Ferguson once said that prayer is the guilitine of anxiety. When we put our cares in God's hands, we virtually cut the head off the beast of anxiety.
When we pray, we should essentially say, "God, this is your problem, not mine. If I can serve you in it, let me be your vessel. Until then, I trust that you will do what is right."
Joseph Scriven penned majestic words:
O what peace we often forfeit; O what needless pain we bear!
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.
3. Think Right - "Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Phil. 4:8
"Thought Replacement." It sounds like something out of a George Orwell book. But that's the tactic Scripture tells us to imploy. The rationale is easy to undrestand: If your brain is crammed full of godly thoughts, there won't be room enough for worry.
So replace worrisome thoughts with blessed thoughts. Lift your mind off yourself, the present circumstances, and what the future supoosedly will be. Begin to think theologically and fill your mind with godly thoughts.
Spend your energy adoring God, meditating on His attributes, reflecting on God's law/your duty, praying for others. Get a good book and read it.
4. Do Right - "What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me--practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you." Phil. 4:9
A lot of our worries come from sin (financially strapped because I'm spending too much). A lot of our sin stems from our worries (slacking at my job because I'm fretting). If we straighten out our behavior, a lot of reprieve will be had.
Biblically speaking: Work and worry are polar opposites. That's why diligence and obedience are two major steping stones to easing our anxieties.
If we get our feelings, prayers, thoughts, and behavior conforming to God's word, our anxieties will melt away. The peace of God will be ours!
Work on Your Worry!
Is worry a thing for you?
Try applying some of these principles by using this worry worsheet. You'll find that its a meaningful resource for gaining greater peace in your life.
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