by Sarah Caples
Has anyone had an increase in worry and anxiety during this time? I think many of us have. So, if you are experiencing more anxiety, please know you are not alone. I was talking with my friend the other day and she was sharing about her increased anxiousness and how it is affecting her mood and interactions with her husband and children.
I want to offer her and anyone else feeling this way some encouragement and hope.
I am reminded of some of my favorite words in Scripture. In this passage, Paul gives us ways for dealing with our worry and anxiety. Let’s take a look at what he says.
Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard in me - practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
In these inspired words, Paul gives us concrete ways to combat our anxiety. Here are my biggest takeaways:
- Take everything to God. God wants to hear from us. He wants us to lay everything at his feet. He will give us peace and will guard our hearts.
- Do you know the greatest antidote for fear and anxiety? It is gratitude and thankfulness! There are research studies that show you cannot be anxious and grateful at the same time. I think this is what Paul is pointing at here, because what does he tell us to do next?
what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy. When we think on what we are grateful for, think on God’s promises, God’s goodness, and all the ways God has provided for us, that brings about peace and trust.
So, if you have been struggling with worry and anxiety, I want to challenge you do to these 3 things:
- Pray to God. Give it over to Him.
- Give thanks. Make a list of all the things you are grateful for. Start a gratitude journal and write 3 new things you are grateful for each day in your journal. This will help program your mind to start looking around you to find all the good.
- Meditate on God’s goodness and His promises. Put your attention on what is good and lovely.
Try these things for a week and see how they will lower your anxiety.