We are an anxious society. Our fast paced lives, our endless responsibilities, our stack of bills needing to be paid, our fears, the unknown, life experiences, and endless other things hold us in a state of worry and anxiety. More and more anxiety and depression medicines are being prescribed every single day. I don’t want to simply look down on us for this. Instead, I want to look at our state through God’s perspective. In light of God’s Word, what are we to do with our anxiety? What does God have to say about it?
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
According to God, nothing is worthy of our worry. He tells us not to be anxious about anything. No situation or circumstance deserves our anxiety. Instead, in everything, we are to pray. God wants us to take our fear, anxiety, and/or depression, and turn it into thankful prayer, offering up our requests to Him. Sounds simple, right? It is! Yet you and I fail to use this method time and time again.
If God’s answer to our anxiety is as simple as prayer, why do we continue to choose worry over prayer? Two big factors come to mind as I think about this. First, I think we assume that our prayers will not be answered. Second, and I believe it to be more crippling, we simply do not trust God. Our perspective gets cloudy in the midst of our worry and we think that God has left us or has suddenly lost His control. We start to think that we need to make things work out on our own. Trying to control our lives and put all the pieces together only brings more anxiety. Letting go and praying to the God who actually controls all things and puts all pieces together is the only way to lift that anxiety.
Let me give you two things to remember in the midst of your anxiety, fear, or depression. My prayer is that these simple reminders would help you turn to prayer instead of worry. I pray that they will help you remember how big the God you serve really is. First, never forget that God is with you.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
“Fear not,” God says. Why? “Because I am with you!” God is with you, regardless of how it feels in this present moment. He will strengthen you. He will help you. He will uphold you. Therefore, what do we ever experience that is worthy of fear and worry? If the all powerful God of the universe is with us, what can ultimately steal our joy? If the Creator of all things is always ready to help us, why would we not go to Him in prayer? When He says that He will strengthen us, help us, and uphold us, we can trust Him! Turn your worry into thankful prayer as you offer up your requests to the God who is always with you!
“And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:17)
The second truth is that Jesus is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. Every atom in the universe is being held together, in this present moment, by God. That truth can never change. It is impossible for God to lose His power and control. What you find yourself worrying and stressing about is not a sign of God losing control. He is still on the throne and He always will be. If, then, God is in complete control as He holds all things together, why do we choose anxiety over prayer? We can trust Him and His sovereign control! A supernatural, calming peace comes when we start trusting and praying. Turn your anxiety into thankful prayer as you offer up your requests to the God who controls everything at all times!
Our circumstances have a way of clouding our judgement. We somehow forget about the big God who sets all things in motion. We forget that He is always with us. We start to believe that we need to be the ones to make things happen. Anxiety makes us miss how simple Philippians 4:6 really is. Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in everything, pray to our big God with a thankful heart. A thankful heart has a hard time worrying! God wants to shoulder your anxieties. He wants to answer your requests. He is big enough to do so. When we see God in this way, we will start putting Philippians 4:6 to practice. God cares for you. Let us stop worrying and instead start praying.
“Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)