In life we all worry about many different things. We worry about how to pay our bills; we worry about what is happening in our country or economy; we worry about our loved ones; we worry about food and clothing and generally we worry about our individual life.
Whilst worry and anxiety have always been a part of our human nature since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, the Bible however discourages people from worrying or from having anxious thoughts (Philippians 4:6-7).
It has been proven that worrying can affect your daily life so much that it can interfere with your sleeping patterns, your appetite, your job performance and even your interpersonal relationships.
Worrying can turn into depression and cause panic attacks. Worrying can also cause people to make harmful decisions or to look for ungodly solutions in order to find relief from their problems. For example people may think of suicide, overeating, alcohol and even drugs in order to supposedly get rid of their anxiety.
The search for peace however is not found in drugs, alcohol or even in suicide. The search for peace is found in God alone. Therefore the Bible instructs us regarding how we should overcome worry and anxiety in our life.
HOW TO OVERCOME WORRY & ANXIETY
Philippians 4:6-8 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 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.
Philippians 4:6-8 gives us instruction pertaining to what we ought to do in the face of anxiety.
1. We Must Learn to Pray
We must have a daily habit of communicating to God about every issue in our life. There is no issue or problem that is too big or too small for God to hear about when we pray to Him.
After all – God already knows everything and He knows us more than we know ourselves.
Philippians 4:6 says that we should not be anxious about anything – but instead we must pray about everything.
So we must come boldly to God in prayer with our worries, requests and supplications and we must trust that God will respond according to His divine will and plan for our life.
Therefore God is prepared to hear every issue that comes out of our mouth if we come to Him with a sincere heart.
2. We Must Always Be Thankful To God
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says we must “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
We must therefore consistently have an attitude of gratitude in our heart. Being thankful helps us to focus on the goodness of God rather than our negative circumstance.
Being thankful helps us to remember that God is able to help us and save us from the issues that trouble us.
Being thankful brings supernatural peace in our hearts and minds even in the midst of a chaotic situation.
Therefore an attitude of prayer and thankfulness brings the peace of God which surpasses all understanding.
3. Replace Anxious Thoughts With The Correct Thoughts
Philippians 4:8 says: 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.
So immediately after saying that we should not be anxious about anything but pray about everything – Paul then writes about having the correct thoughts.
In order for us to stop our anxious thoughts, we must ultimately remove them by replacing them with godly thoughts and godly meditation.
We must meditate on the word of God and on the promises of God in our life. We must remember the goodness and grace of God in our lives. We must think thoughts that always bring us back to Christ. Thinking the right thoughts will help you combat the temptation to worry or be anxious.
4. Trust In The Lord
Proverbs 3:5-6 says: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.
Whenever we are anxious, we are communicating that we do not trust in God. Consistent anxiety demonstrates that we do not trust that God is in control. This is the very reason why God tells us not to worry or not to be anxious about anything.
We must therefore trust in the sovereignty of God and believe that He will direct our path.
Anxiety also demonstrates that we are relying on our own understanding of our problem or situation. However, trusting in God will reflect that we believe that God not only understands our situation – but He is able to deliver us out of it.
As Christians we are called to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Therefore the life of the Christian is a life of faith in God.
5. Seek First The Kingdom of God & His Righteousness
Matthew 6:33-34 – But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
From Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus addresses the issue of worrying about the details of life. Jesus tells us not to worry. Instead we must set our sights on God and His righteousness. God will provide our needs as we first seek His kingdom and His righteousness.
Anxiety has a tendency of taking our focus off God and the things of God. However we must always trust that all that is in the world belongs to God. The earth and everything in it already belongs to God (Psalm 24:1).
Therefore God will supply all our needs according to His riches (Philippians 4:19). We therefore should not worry or become anxious.