Be Anxious for nothing, 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 comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6, 7 (NASB)
There is a Chinese curse that goes, “May you live in interesting times.” We do live in interesting times and the way our world is today, it does rather seem like the earth and even the nations are under some kind of curse. Nations threaten nations, armies and navies deploy, armed terrorists foment shock and panic and on the smaller level neighbors bicker, bosses yell and families feud. Perhaps the greatest difference between our modern day and Paul’s is with our technology and instant communications anxiety just gets here faster and more often. We are bombarded on every side by television, magazines, radio, telephone calls, billboards; people knocking on the door and…well you get the picture.
Paul tells us not to be anxious about anything. Anything? Where does he get the authority to say such a thing? He was quick to remind those who followed Christ that he did not receive a gospel preached by men but he received his knowledge through a revelation of Jesus Christ Himself (Galatians 1:11, 12). Paul’s writing here gives us the key to the locked door of peace and to a place of rest. He tells us to be at ease and to pray. Most of us see praying as only a way of getting something from God. He sees it as communion with His heart. When we pray it is always relational. Sometimes I will pray a psalm. I will read a few verses then pray prayers of thanksgiving and praise through the beautiful words of David’s worship and interact with Him spirit to Spirit. When I don’t know how to pray specifically I rest in the fact that the Holy Spirit always prays for the saints of God interceding for us according to the will of God (Romans 8:26, 27).
How do we get to a place of trust where anxiety is lessened? Just like any talent it never happens without practice. People don’t just get up one morning and decide to play the piano like a Strauss or Chopin. If one is gifted it takes time to develop that gift into something that is breathtaking. Roam through the Psalms and meditate upon their truths. You will meet the Messiah there. Walk with Him every day through the Word of God. You will begin to take His truth to heart and come to believe the greatest rest lies in that truth. We may live in interesting times but we have a God who is a lot more than just interesting. He can take care of things. He can take care of that thing that is weighing on you right now. Don’t be anxious for anything? ‘Anything’ leaves no room for fudging. It is possible to come to a place where we can be anxious for nothing. When we do the peace of God which is beyond anything we can imagine will guard our hearts and minds in His Son, Christ Jesus.