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Rejoice in the Lord Always
Is your heart weighed down with worry? Could you use some calm? If so, you aren’t alone. Conquering anxiety and worry requires some work on your part, but it is not God’s will that you lead a life of perpetual anxiety. God loves his children. He oversees your world. He monitors your life.
In Philippians 4:4, Paul offers what could be considered a “prescription” for anxiety and worries. Interestingly, this prescription begins with a call to “rejoice in the Lord always.” Paul used every tool in the box in this verse to get his readers’ attention. First, he uses a verb tense so they would hear, “continually, habitually rejoice!” And if the verb tense wasn’t enough, he removed the expiration date: “Rejoice in the Lord always.” And if that wasn’t enough, he repeated the command: “Again I will say, rejoice!”
But how do you obey this command? By recognizing the sovereignty of God. The most stressed-out people are control freaks. The more they try to control the world, the more they realize they cannot. Life becomes a cycle of anxiety, failure; anxiety, failure; anxiety, failure. But when you recognize heaven has an occupied throne, you allow the Lord to be in control. God then calms your fears not by removing the problem, but by revealing his divine power and presence. Your anxiety decreases as your understanding of God, your Father, increases.
The next time you fear the future, rejoice in the Lord’s sovereignty. Rejoice in what he has accomplished. Rejoice that he is able to do what you cannot do. Fill your mind with thoughts of him. Where others see the problems of the world and wring their hands, see those problems and bend your knees. Intentionally lift up your mind to thoughts about your king. Don’t get lost in your troubles. Dare to believe that good thing will happen. Examine what sustains your belief, and make sure your belief in God is founded in trusting that he is in control.
Let Your Gentleness Be Evident to All
Maybe you’re fighting today to keep a family together, a business afloat, or a school from going under. How you handle that fight will reveal where your trust ultimately lies. If you trust in Jesus and believe he is always with you, the byproduct of releasing the control to him will be a contagious calm that surrounds your life. This calm will allow you to see how God is working in your situation—and others will notice there is something different about you. It will bring healing to your anxiety, mature your faith, and show others that God is always faithful.
Anxiety management is like pulling stumps out of the ground. Some of your worries have deep root systems, and extracting them is hard work. But you don’t have to do it alone. Present the challenge to your Father and ask for help.
Will he solve the issue? Yes, he will. Will he solve it immediately? Maybe. Or maybe part of the test is an advanced course in patience. This much is sure: contagious calm will happen to the degree that you turn to him.
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Present Your Requests to God
Prayer is simply a conversation with your heavenly Father. You place your anxieties in his hands and remind him—and yourself—of the promises he has made in his Word. You find a promise that fits your problem and builds your prayer around it. These prayers of faith touch the heart of God and activate the angels of heaven. Miracles are set into motion. You experience less consternation; more supplication. Fewer anxious thoughts, more prayer-filled thoughts.
Thanksgiving is the means God uses to help you take the focus off yourself and onto him. Gratitude is a powerful weapon in the arsenal against anxiety because it leads you out of the land “if only” and into the realm of “already.” The anxious heart says, “Lord if only I had this, that, or the other, I’d be okay.” The grateful heart says, “Lord, you’ve already given me this, that, and the other thing. Thank you for your blessings, God.”
Christ-based contentment will turn you into a strong person. It helps you realize that since no one can take your Christ, no one can take your joy. Failure can’t steal your joy, because Jesus is greater than your sin. Disappointments can’t steal your joy, because even though your plans may not work out, God’s plans always will. Not even death can steal your joy because Jesus has even conquered death itself.
What you have in Christ is greater than anything you don’t have. You have God, who is crazy about you, and the forces of heaven to monitor and protect you. You have the living presence of Jesus within you. In Christ you have everything. So anchor your heart to the character of God. Treat each anxious thought with a grateful one, and prepare yourself for a new day of joy.
The Peace of God Will Guard Your Heart
Perhaps you’ve prayed and prayed and heard nothing. Don’t give up! Rest in the truth that just as God sent angels to protect those you read about in the Bible, he will send his angels to protect you—even as your storm continues to rage. When you gave your life to him, he took you into his family as a cherished child. He has a purpose for your days, and he invites you to join in accomplishing his will in the world. He will use the storms to grow your faith and trust in him.
When you seek the Lord, you will find him. So seek him first. Lead with worship and thanksgiving. Go first to your Father in prayer and praise. Confess to him your fears. Gather with his people. Set your face toward God. Cry out for help. Admit your weakness. Then, once God moves, take a step and move with him.
Expect to see the God of ages fight for you. He is near, as near as your next breath. You may be facing the perfect storm, but Jesus offers the perfect peace.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Worship Songs for You
- Grace Changes Everything by Victory Worship feat. Lee Brown [Official Music Video] - YouTube
iTunes: https://www.itunes.apple.com/album/id912988615http://www.victoryworship.phhttps://www.facebook.com/VictoryWorshipPHWords and Music by Neli Atiga, Jos...
- Chris Tomlin - Enough (Lyrics) - YouTube
All of You is more than enough for all of meFor every thirst and every needYou satisfy me with Your loveAnd all I have in You is more than enoughYou are my s...
All charts can be found on our website: www.everynationmusic.org. Closed Captions available.Every Nation Music kicks off Vol.II with new single "Make Room". ...
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