Avoiding Anxiety

Philippians 4:6 (NIV):  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

The first time I preached I was still an Air Force officer. It was over 35 years ago. The Scripture for my message was the above verse. I was basically preaching to myself, trying to avoid being anxious about sharing God’s word with others. I prepared for my 30 minute sermon for weeks and then it was time for me to deliver it. Eleven minutes later I was done! I may not have been anxious but I certainly had adrenaline!

Our world has been dealing with COVID for over two years. I don’t know about you, but I am so tired of COVID. I just heard a story about a children’s Sunday School teacher asking who slayed Goliath and gave the clue of the last three letters of the name: ___  ___  _V_  _I_  _D_. All the children knew the answer: COVID slayed Goliath!

Regardless of how you feel about COVID, masks, social distancing, vaccines, and mandates, I believe that we can all agree that the past two years have been a bit of a challenge. Dare I say that many in our world are experiencing anxiety.

So… what am I to do, especially as we continue to have COVID in our world?

As one who focuses on my relationship with Jesus I can apply the above verse to my life. To avoid anxiety, I present everything in my life to God. I pray. I petition. I am serious about the needs in my life. I bring “every situation” to God, no matter how small or insignificant.

As I continually present my requests to God, I am thankful. But wait…  I haven’t received an answer yet! How can I already be thankful?

I think Paul knew that thanksgiving is the key to avoiding anxiety. I am thankful because of Who God is. He is my Provider. God is my Healer. He loves me and He sent Jesus to be my Savior. I have so much to be thankful for. With those truths as my foundation, I really have nothing to be anxious about.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, may I always be thankful for who You are and everything that You have done for me. As I bring every situation to You by prayer and petition I am so thankful that You love me and have saved me.

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