When Anxiety Comes to Get You

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt
The Bible reveals to us that God wants our lives to be centered in “the peace that passes understanding.” Why? Because in that place, you are free from fear, you think clearly, and you can receive the instruction, wisdom, and insight that you need from the Lord. And so the Lord says, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philip. 4:7)

That verse starts with the word “And” which means another thought preceded this thought. What is that other thought? God tells us that the way to get to “the peace that passes understanding” is to not allow yourself to become anxious. We read in Philip. 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Allow me to give you some insight to that word anxious. It was originally translated as the word “careful.” You would read it like this, “Be careful for nothing.” The word “careful” in the Greek means “anxious” and so it’s retranslated “don’t be anxious about anything.”

If you look into the original root meaning of the word “anxious” you find that the word anxious means divided or disunity. Now that brings greater insight. What God is saying to us is this: “don’t let the circumstances that you face, cause you to become divided between anxiety and faith…”

There are times where we face a situation that is seemly impossible to overcome. The first impulse that could hit us is anxiety. If we let that anxiety exist, we’ll never truly be in faith that God will some how help us. That anxiety becomes our enemy that we have to defeat over and over again. If a negative situation continues, then defeating that anxiety daily is our only option to being divided between faith and anxiety.

God gives us the insight of how to do that. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

What is it that could happen in prayer that squashes anxiety and puts you over into that peace that passes understanding? It’s reaffirmation of God loving you, being in you, with you, and for you! When His Word speaks that to you and your heart takes hold of it, suddenly anxiety drops off and peace comes.

Last week, prior to my granddaughter’s open heart surgery, the surgeon came in to discuss the procedure with my daughter and her husband and Renee and I. They were going to break her breastbone so they could get to her heart and patch a hole it. They were also going to disconnect two pulmonary veins that were attached to the heart in the wrong place and reconnect them to where they should be connected. To do this they had to stop her heart and bypass it. I think this would create a certain level of anxiety in any parent and grandparent’s heart. I know it did us.

After the surgeon left. all four of us broke out our bibles and each of us shared promises from God’s word about His protection, His love, and His covenant with us. I know for me, just sharing what God was speaking to me to them built faith in my heart. Then hearing the others share continued to build faith in my heart. It lifted me back into a place of peace and trusting faith. We then took communion remembering what Jesus said, “In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 1 Cor. 11:25-26 (NIV)

This says we are in covenant relationship with God through Jesus Christ and in that covenant, God honors His Word. Now this is why we are not to be anxious or divided about what we believe in trying circumstances. We believe God loves us, that His promises are true, that we are in covenant with Him, and that they are a gift to us through Jesus Christ. This is the way we enter into “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding that will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.” So, be divided no more! Spend time with Him with thanksgiving and enter into His peace today and everyday!

PS. Madeline came through perfectly and with a supernatural recovery! Surgery was on Tuesday and she was home Saturday. (She wanted to wrestle tonight but I told her she had to take it easy.)

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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