by Dr. Foster H. Shannon
“Have no anxiety 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 passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6,7)
What do we worry about?
1. What do other people think of me?
2. Will I be able to pay my bills next month?
3. Do I have an unrecognized disease or ailment?
4. Will I succeed in getting a job?
5. Will we have enough money when I retire?
6. What does God think of me?
The Philippians passage reminds us that we are not to be anxious or worry about anything. It affirms that the remedy is in our prayer life: supplication, thanksgiving, and requests. Prayer is very important for everyone who believes in God. Worry and distress drain our energy. They cause us to concentrate on our problems rather than on the solutions. They cause us to lose focus and to let our imaginations run amuck, so that in our thought processes we seek to solve problems that will never arise. There is something about praying about these concerns that brings us to the assurance that we have not been left alone. If something is on our mind, it is very important that we share it with God.
“Cast all you anxieties on him for he cares about you.” (I Peter 5:7)
Thanksgiving helps us to remember what is good: The love of God, the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, that the destiny of everyone who believes in Jesus Christ is with God for all eternity. That God guides us into much that is good for us: righteousness, justice, compassion, goodness, truth, love for our neighbors. That God is concerned for our needs and will provide for them as we trust in him and seek to serve him.
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, “What shall we eat? Or What shall we drink? Or what shall we wear?” For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.” (Matthew 6:31-33)
This scripture passage reminds us that our priorities are important. Some of our difficulties may result because we seek the wrong things. If we believe in Jesus Christ, we commit ourselves wholly to him; we are a part of his family. We trust in him, we enjoy him, we delight to do his will. We know that he is with us and will not fail us! It is true that times of unexpected crisis come, that we find greatly disappointing and even shattering. We should turn to God first, but we must also avail ourselves of friends and family. We should not go it alone!
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.” (Jeremiah 29:11,12)