6 November 2020

Setting Aside Anxiousness

"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.” -Philippians 4:6-7 ESV

Scripture informs that we should not be anxious about what life brings. We of course now that this is easier said than done, but scripture doesn’t leave us with no instructions for how we can go about doing this. In Philippians 4 we have the writer offering that we focus on prayer and thankfulness that we can feel in the presence of God. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 40 million United States citizens experience anxiety disorder each year, 8% of children struggle with anxiety, and only about one third of people seek help. These are staggering numbers when we consider that these are our family members, friends, and neighbors. Maybe we experience times of anxiety in our lives as well.

The National Institutes of Health offers a really informative breakdown of the effects of anxiety related disorders in our population. Below are two charts that breakdown some of the demographics of those who struggle with anxiety as well as the severity of those incidents.

What this information shows is that we are all vulnerable to seasons of anxiety and therefore we must have concrete ways of handling these times. We do not know how we will respond in the moment. We may be in the 43% of individuals that experience mild anxiety, but this may not be the case and instead we experience greater levels of anxiety. Therefore, it is important to be ready for when life brings you down.

Time can heal wounds. Jesus wants to heal our wounds. If we allow for the peace of Jesus Christ to overwhelm our souls, we can be set free of life burdens. This doesn’t mean that we will not experience hardship, but that we will be able to find our way through, because of Jesus. It is the grace which God gives that brings us hearts healing and hope for a brighter future. Life does not always go the way that we hoped and often brings us fear and uncertainty. Jesus will bring us peace if we allow him to do the very work that he promises to do! Let’s give Jesus the chance to do his work in our lives.

So, how do we create this space? Well it is important to know yourself well. You will know what works best for you. In recent weeks I have been doing yoga in the morning and some evenings. This has allowed me to find moments of center in a stressful week. My encouragement for you is to find what works for you and make a point of prioritizing it. The writer of Philippians believed that prayer and thanksgiving was the way to God’s peace. How does God bring peace to you?