I’m actually quite good at this but not in the way it’s intended. I’m good at being anxious for no good reason. Our enemy wakes me in the middle of the night and says, “Surely you can think of something.” And I can, I can always think of something to be anxious about.
But that’s not what the scripture means, is it? The full text of Philippians 4:6 reads:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God
Now that’s the complete opposite. Don’t be anxious for anything. Seems like a tall order but that’s what it says.
This verse has within it an example of Biblical instruction. It tells you what not to do (be anxious). Then it tells you what to do instead (pray).
Then in the next verse it tells you what the result will be:
and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Notice it doesn’t say ‘you will have the answer to your problem within two hours’ or the answer to your problem will come a week from Tuesday. It doesn’t even say what the answer to your problem will be.
Zoowy. This is jumping up and down exciting. The problem, the one that’s keeping me awake at night, is not the problem. The problem is that I don’t have the peace of God. The answer to my specific problem may not come in what I consider a timely fashion. The answer may not be what I would have ordered up. But just like the problem is not the problem, the answer is not the answer. The answer is really the peace of God. Before I look for the specific answer to the specific problem I should pray till the peace of God comes.
The peace of God is the universal antidote to anxiety.
Copyright © 2011 by Angus B. Lewis
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