According to dictionary.com, anxiety is defined as “distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune.” Based upon that definition, we don’t need to look much past our own communities to see that many people are indeed anxious.
Unemployment is high, and natural disasters are all around us. The stock market is down, the euro is in trouble, (as is the dollar), and wars are breaking out everywhere. At best, this leaves many of us in a place of uncertainly. Still others are living day-to-day in fear.
The medical community tells us that living in a constant state of alarm, subtle though it may be, releases a steady flow of cortisol and adrenaline into our bodies. This, in turn, leads to a lowering of our immune system, and can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, heart attack, and stroke. Although God has designed our bodies to react in sudden cases of fear, (what science calls fight or flight), He NEVER intended for us to stay in a place where we are anxious. Today’s edition of, “With Your Latte” is Part 1 of a multi-part series that will deal with anxiety.
Philippians 4:6-7 reads:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Those verses seem somewhat oversimplified. But with a little examination we will see that they go to the heart of the matter – which is “trust God.” Let’s start with prayer. Prayer, in essence, is telling God what’s on your mind and finding out what’s on His. Then there is, “petition.” If you have ever signed a petition you know it’s for a specific cause. Finally we come to “thanksgiving.” Being thankful will do 2 things for us. First, it will keep things in perspective. Looking at what we should be thankful for will remind us that things can always be worse. Second, being thankful reminds us of the goodness of God. God wants to care for you and I and He is always concerned about our condition. Although the situation may seem overwhelming to us, He is quite capable of directing the circumstances to an end that demonstrates His goodness andfaithfulness. So if you put it all together you get this:
Tell God what you’re thinking and ask Him what He’s thinking. Be specific with your concerns. Be thankful that things could be so much worse and that He loves and cares for you and that His thoughts are good toward you.
Once we have done this, we get to enjoy the peace of God which passes all understanding. We will pick up here next time.