Phil 4:6-7 – 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. ESV
Guiding Commentary – The days of those of us who have been harmed by the actions of another person are often peppered with difficult emotions. Possibly the most challenging is anxiety. We can all probably relate to the thought that anxiety seems to pop up in our life when we least expect it. Our anxiety gets triggered by seemingly innocuous objects, places, smells, sounds or visual stimuli. Often we are the only person we know who feels anxiety in certain situations. Anxiety is a giant reality in our lives that sometimes moves us into panic attacks. Anxiety is a major problem that debilitates and depresses us, and until the anxiety attack passes, we can’t function well, if at all.
Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount singled out anxiety as something He knew was unhealthy for us. (Mt 6:24-34) In our focus verses the apostle Paul, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit speaks to this issue again.
There is no chastisement on the part of God for those of us who deal with anxiety, in our verses above there is an offer made. Through this scripture God acknowledges that we become anxious from time-to-time, He says to go directly to Him with things. God says to bring our problems, our concerns, our troubles, our burdens and our fears, or anything else that causes us to slip into feelings of anxiety to Him. He says to go to Him one-on-one in prayer and to thankfully give Him our list of concerns. His promise is that He will replace our anxious moments with times of peace, the peace of God, which is a unique peace that comes only through the Holy Spirit on the inside of us.
This unique peace does things for us that no human originated peace can. This scripture tells us that this peace is beyond our human understanding, and it guards our heart and our mind. This assures us that one of the benefits of our prayer in the face of our anxiety will be that God helps to protect our minds from anxious thoughts and our hearts from those debilitating anxious feelings.
With this in mind, let us choose, because of these promises from a faithful and trustworthy God, to let go of our fears and our anxieties, and rely on Him.