By Steve Greene
We have all struggled with some form of anxiety.
For instance, haven’t we all worried about a health concern somewhere along the way, especially in the past couple of years? Anxiety is often rooted in worry and fear.
Worry is what we do when we incessantly speculate about what might happen. Worry is based on speculation, which means worry is often based on fiction.
Concern, on the other hand, is a calculated consideration and assessment of actual danger. That is why we would say concern is based on fact.
Worrying anticipates possible problems, while concern is more fact-based and geared toward problem-solving. Whether you are talking about worry, fear or concern, all of them can lead to anxiety.
The apostle Paul had gone to Rome where he was arrested for preaching the gospel. It is easy to see how a situation like this could generate a significant amount of anxiety. Paul’s future seemed uncertain. He didn’t know how long he would be there. He didn’t know if or when he would be released. In fact, he really couldn’t be sure whether he would live or die. He was facing the possibility of execution.
It is in these circumstances, under the inspiration of the holy spirit, that Paul penned these powerful words to his friends at the church in Philippi. He said, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” (Philippians 4:4-5)
Do you believe that the Lord is near? Even when you don’t feel like he is near, are you able to still hold to that truth?
Paul continued in verses 6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Paul said to be anxious for nothing.
Is that even possible? Is it possible to be anxious for nothing in the world we’re living in? Mass shootings … a global pandemic … economic uncertainty … racial tension … a job that is in jeopardy … supply shortages … a business that might not make it … and Paul says, “Be anxious for nothing.”
How can I be anxious for nothing?
I am so thankful that the Lord is near today and always. We need to be reminded of this profound and powerful truth, especially when we are battling anxiety in any form. I want to invite you to join me on a journey to learn how we can be anxious for nothing over these next few weeks.
More next time.
Steve Greene is the lead pastor at The Point in Seymour. You may email him at [email protected] His weekly blog can be found at pastorgreene.wordpress.com. Send comments to [email protected]