Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. - (Phillipians 4:6)
Do not be anxious about anything.
Really Paul? Anything?
It seems nearly impossible.
But God's Word is established and valid for us today.
In the original Greek, the term for anxious refers to a care that distracts and causes you to draw in different directions. Sounds pretty accurate, wouldn't you say?
Part of the answer to coping with anxiety has to do with our conditioned response to it.
Paul had a hard knock life and was perfectly 'qualified' to give us this admonition. Through many trials and hardships, Paul learned to live with joy in what seemed to be a paradoxical journey. Look what he said in 2 Corinthians 6:10: “Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything”.
To have joy in trials is not to deny pain. It is to recognize the fact that they can exist together. They can co-exist in the same way an expectant mother can go through the travail of birth and still have joy in thinking about what is to come.
Paul learned to condition his response to anxiety (or, fix his focus) by turning to God in prayer, with thanksgiving.
What do I mean by conditioned response?
Some examples of conditioned responses (Source: verywellmind.com):
So, how can I condition my response to anxiety? How do I fix my focus?
1) Identify it (anxiety) when it comes, in every situation
Feeling overwhelmed and filled with anxiety? Identify it. No matter how little or big the situation or what the apparent outcome might be, acknowledge the reality that anxiety has crept in.
2) Immediately turn to prayer...
Take a deep breath, stay calm, don't jump to anything else for relief or a quick solution...turn to prayer. At the moment, your flesh may tell you one thing but 'turn' and do what the Spirit tells you.
3) ...With Thanksgiving
Find something to thank God for even if the circumstances look bleak. I know it's hard but, at the very least, remember that for the believer, the best is always yet to come.
4) Make your request known to God
Speak to your loving Father. Openly, wholeheartedly, reverently. Be specific and simple about what it is your feeling and what you need help with.
Keep the Fire Burning,
with Danny & Daniela Kovacs
No family is an island. Join us as we share candid discussions, Biblical advice & resources to help keep God at the center of your faith, family and career.