The Solution To Anxiety
Why does God expect us to be anxious for nothing? Because He gives us the solution to anxiety. The anxiety antidote is rejoicing. Finding joy in our journey takes away anxiety's power over us.
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Philippians 4:4 NLT
Sometimes, I wonder why God had Paul repeat that we need to rejoice. Then, I remember that we probably need the reiteration. Has this ever happened to you? God blesses you, whether it's something you prayed for or something unexpected, and you get super excited and praise and rejoice. Then, not long after some unexpected trouble comes your way, and you're crying, "Why God, why?" and trying to figure out how you'll fix it. Perhaps, that's just me, but I believe that's why God inspired Paul to add the "again I say rejoice."
When we fully acknowledge the joy found in Jesus, we realize that we don't have to crumble or shatter when facing difficult trials. It's not that we should deny our feelings, but we can process those feelings in light of the fact that God will work it out.
When doubts filled my mind, Your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer. Psalms 94:19 NLT
It's when we acknowledge that our circumstance isn't good, but God still is that we can be filled with hope and cheer rather than anxiety. In fact, the Bible says that when we pray about everything with thanksgiving, bringing our cares, concerns, worries, and anxieties to God, we will experience His Comfort; His Peace that transcends all comprehension. (Philippians 4:7).
One of my favorite hymns, What A Friend We Have in Jesus, puts it this way:
Oh, what peace we often forfeit
Oh, what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer
Rejoicing in Who God is and what He's done, praising Him, thanking Him, and talking openly to Him about whatever is causing our anxiety is the solution to anxiety. Don't you worry about a thing. God can and will hear and answer your prayers. Find joy in knowing that He is faithful and He is capable of handling any and everything that comes your way. He is not surprised by anything you have to say.
God, please forgive us for relying on ourselves instead of rejoicing in You. Lord, please help us to not forfeit the peace that passes all understanding by holding on to anxiety. Remind us that anxiety has no use other than prompting us to pray to You and praise You for all You've done, are doing, and will do in our lives. In Jesus' name, Amen!