Have you ever realized that being worried, or anxious, is a choice that we make? Whenever we are confronted by the situations of life that trouble us – we make a decision. We can enter into the thought processes that make us anxious and frightened. Or, we can enter into the process of the God that leads to a peace that transcends all understanding. While life is never simple, this truth is sure, it is our choice!
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
The Apostle Paul in writing to the Philippian church concludes his letter with several strong exhortations for a joyful healthy soul. This one contains a clear step-by-step process to find peace in any situation. As you read the verse, take note of the clear thought path that Paul paints for us to walk. One thing that strikes me immediately is the clear call to exercise our will to collaborate with God in peace via intimate prayer.
I remember camping alone in a High Sierra campground. I was surrounded by a few strangers I did not know and the local bears. I remember waking up after midnight in the pitch darkness and feeling quite anxious. Immediately I turned to the Lord. After a time of prayer, inviting and realizing His comforting presence, I was filled with peace and fell fast asleep.
I can choose to enter into the process of rehearsing my fears, loss and defeat, which lead to anxiety. Alternatively, I can choose the step-by-step process that leads to supernatural peace. In every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving…this is a call, an opportunity to converse person to person with God and to thank Him for what He is going to do. Note that we start with obedience in faith, you may not, probably will not, feel peaceful until after you have obeyed. This choice to pray and thank God opens the door for a peace that transcends all understanding. I know from much experience that this “peace” of God is truly from outside me. My heart, mind and thoughts are lifted to heaven’s provision, love and grace. It all starts with our choice to obey God, or to just walk that old anxious road again. I choose God!