“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:6-8
Did you start to hum that popular song when you read the title of today’s blog post? Or did you read it and think, ‘yes, but how?’ or maybe even ‘you are kidding, aren’t you?’ If you knew my life you would worry too!
Looking at my grandson's smile makes me smile too, and drives whatever anxious thoughts I may have had far from my mind. A child's grin can do that.
But worry seems to be almost a right of passage for people today. Young children are already being treated for anxiety issues, teens are worried about fitting in, and adults are worried about their future, whether how to afford to buy a home or whether they will ever be able to retire. Perhaps that’s why these verses have always been among my most favorite.
When anxious thoughts threaten to overwhelm me, I am reminded that God promises me that His peace will guard my heart and mind. But how is that possible. I have learned to follow the steps in these verses:
1. When worry threatens, stop – Don’t allow your mind to dwell on those thoughts or spend time thinking about what might or might not happen. It is said that 80% of the things we worry about never come to pass.
2. Pray instead – Let God know what it is that is troubling your heart and threatening to steal your peace. Be honest. Tell God what you need
3. Then don’t forget to thank God for what He has already done and what He will do. If you struggle with this, claim some scripture verses about His care for you and His promise of provision.
4. Allow His peace to guard your heart and mind-Take some time to be still, to meditate on God’s attributes, reminding yourself that God is good all the time and that He never changes nor can He ever be unfaithful.
5. Going forward, fix your thoughts on the positive – what is true(not what you are worried might happen), another translations says on what is praiseworthy(remember who God is and what He has already done for you). Taking every thought captive is key to not worrying and experiencing God’s perfect peace in our lives.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you that you promise that I can experience your perfect peace in my life today. Help me not to worry and be anxious, but instead to stop and pray, with thanksgiving and allow You instead to fill my mind with thoughts of You. Remind me often of this and help me to take my thoughts captive. Amen
What is stealing your peace today? What anxious thoughts are filling your mind with worry and robbing you of God’s peace? Practice these five steps instead and ask God to fill your heart and mind with peace.