We worry about so many things . . .How will I get it all done this week? How will I pay the bills this month? How can I get back on my feet? What do I want to be when I grow up? When will I finally get some much needed rest and peace? The good news is that God has the antidote to worry.
It’s great to plan ahead and dream of what we’d like to see happen in the future. Taking a stand against what is unfair can be important. But worrying and replaying it over and over in our minds can wear us out, though. Fretting acts as a toxin which can literally make us sick. Worry requires an antidote. What does Paul’s letter to the Philippians, chapter 4 of which could be nicknamed “the mental health chapter” of the Bible, reveal to us about it?
God’s Antidote to Worry
Prayer with thanksgiving is God’s antidote to worry.
“6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you” Philippians 4:6-9 (NIV).
The peace of God AND the God of peace are both included in the antidote to toxic worry. Our part is to choose well.
In coaching, I am always asking people “What stood out to you?” I have been referring people to this Scripture for more than twenty years but what stands out to me today is this. The peace of God AND the God of peace are both included in the antidote to toxic worry.
My part is to choose. I can choose not to be anxious. I can choose to pray. I can choose to give thanks. I can choose to ask God for what I need. I can choose to count on the peace of God then doing its part, guarding my heart and mind. I can choose to think about whatever is excellent or praiseworthy. I can choose to practice this as a lifestyle, knowing the God of peace WILL be with me. I can choose to count on Him.
We do not have to accept the vulnerability of prayerlessness. Thank God we are free to make new choices and are given grace to practice.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” Ephesians 6:18 (NIV).
TAKE IT AND RUN WITH IT
- Now what about you? How badly do you want the peace of God and the God of peace as your own antidote to worry?
- Prayer and anxiety are two opposing forces. Which one will you choose to align yourself with today?
- What do you need to actively practice to develop this healthy habit?
Please feel free to share your thoughts to encourage others. Click on the speech bubble above to leave a reply…