I hate being anxious. I feel when I'm anxious about a problem I'm facing (let's call it problem A), then I begin to see more problems I did not know even existed. So I'm thinking of my finances and somehow I connect it with my relationships, then a few moments later I add an issue with my health. Before I can snap back to the initial problem, I'm back with more of them. Why? Because anxiety/worry is thinking of the issue and the other possible issues the initial issue could bring - hope I did not lose you with the numerous use for the word "issue" there!
So finally it made sense; to cure this Anxiety syndrome, I need peace. Peace does not just remove the problem where I wake up the next day and Poof! - it's gone. But it gives me the calmness, wisdom and grace to address it - it let's me focus. Sometimes this God kind of peace is just "un-explainable" and makes no sense at all...it makes people wonder if you are sane because they can't comprehend why you are not freaking out -anxious- about the situation. Because naturally speaking, you should freak out but supernaturally speaking, you should experience peace.
Philippians 4:7 (NLT): 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.
HOW TO HAVE PEACE
I believe the problem is not how to "have"peace, but how to walk in it - make use of it - because you already have it. When Jesus was leaving he said "My peace, I leave with you" - John 14:27 (NIV). As a born again christian, just as we have the spirit in us, I believe we have peace. But many of us don't know how to access it or actually use it so we just talk about it without experiencing it. But God's desire if for us to experience it;
Philippians 4:7 (NLT): Then you will experience God's peace...
HOW TO ACCESS YOUR PEACE
Philippians 4: 6-8 (NKJV):
1. Praying: When Paul says "in prayer and supplication, make your request known to God", he gives the first approach to kicking Anxiety in the butt. Bringing your cares to God is a sign of worship and acknowledgement that only him can do it. Pretty much doing this says "God I can take this issue to my parents, my friends or others but if I need a real solution, only you can give that to me". This moves from just "communication" to an actual show of a "relationship" which is what God requires of us. For me, I need to really let this sink in because I am quick to tell the world (through my blog) about my issues first instead of taking it to God - I need grace to do better.
2. Being Thankful: Sometimes, thanksgiving has to be a conscious act because sometimes we honestly just forget especially when the act of God's goodness happened a while back. It is not that we are ungrateful, but somehow it stays in the "past" and we let the present challenge take over. So thanksgiving has to move from the past to the present by us consciously sitting down to "think". If anxiety is thinking deep about your worries/challenges, and peace is needed to cure it, then it makes sense that peace would come from thinking on something- but this time, something godly, and praise worthy. So in practicality, when facing those challenges it is good to consciously remember other challenges God has brought you out of.
Moving this "thinking" mindset a step further, think of God's goodness not just to you but to others around you; his faithfulness to your friend, your spouse, family, and others. These and more, all make up the "things are noble, just, pure, lovely and of good report" which we read of in Philippians 4:8, which Paul ends by saying "Meditate(think) on these things"
While this post is about how we live in the challenges of life, I also just realized that even when things are "good" we should still do these - pray and think-thank. The scripture for this post did not say "Be anxious for nothing, but in challenges", however it says "in Everything".
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Question of the day: Of these 2 ways, which do you struggle with the most when you are in the midst of challenges?
Prayer: God give us the grace and wisdom to bring our cares to you first and consciously remind ourselves of your faithfulness we have experienced in the past times. That through these we may experience peace and live the victorious lives you have called us to live. Amen.