What scriptures are highlighted in your Bible? What have your underlined and returned to multiple times? There’s one scripture that’s likely highlighted in my bible and yours. I dare you to check and see.
Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
According to Kindle, that is the most highlighted and underlined scripture in the bible. We struggle with anxiety and worry, don’t we? We battle negative thoughts and self-told stories of potential doom and gloom.
What is the solution for overcoming this worry and anxiety? Today we will look at 4 simple steps to peace and calm in our hearts and minds.
I’ve been listening to a podcast with my friend Bob Goff and Max Lucado. Max has a book titled “Anxious For Nothing; Finding Calm in a Chaotic World”. Seems like a must read right now! Using Philippians 4, including this verse underlined in both mine and your Bible, he gives us a simple acrostic to find calm in the chaos.
Philippians 4: 4-8 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understating, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally … whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”
C: Celebrate God
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again; Rejoice!”
This is an intentional shift from all that is wrong right now, to God’s goodness, God’s grace, God’s presence, God’s provision, and God’s power. Seek out reasons to celebrate God today. Celebrate all he has done in your life, and celebrate all you know he’s going to do. This is rejoicing in the Lord. Celebrate him.
A: Ask for Help
Talk to God about your worries. Tell him what you’re anxious about. It’s not that God doesn’t already know, but it does you good to give these things a name, get them out and know God has power over ever single detail in your life. When you ask God, you allocate his divine power in that direction.
L: Leave It With God
Once you’ve asked him for help with the things that worry you, leave it in his capable hands. Here’s what we do instead … we bring it to God, we tell him about it, then we pick it right back up and drag it around with us. Honey, that’s a heavy load you’re carrying there. Why don’t you leave that with God? If you can’t fix it and you can’t change it, why are you dragging it around with you, weighing you down, exhausting you, and ultimately rendering you incapable of doing what you can do. There are things you can do to make your life better, but if you’re carrying around the weight of the world, good luck changing a dang thing.
What would it look like if you actually just left that with God today and stopped picking it back up. What if you brought it to his feet and laid it down there? What could you do today if you were free from this burden? God wants you to see. Lay it down and leave it with him.
M: Meditate on Good
Now that you have space in your brain freed from all this worry and anxiety, you can fill your mind intentionally with the things that will give you energy and hope. We’re given a list of 9 things to meditate on in verse 8.
You know, that’s a really good idea. Be intentional with your thoughts. Your thoughts determine your mood. Girl, you can think your way right into a full blown meltdown. You can think your way into the worst of days. You can think your way into angry eyebrows and crazy eyes. You know what I’m talking about right? That look you get when you’re about to lose your crap. You know how it started … your thoughts. Your bad mood literally started with a thought. No one controls that but you.
Your thoughts create your actions. Every good choice first started as a good thought. And every bad choice, well that started as a seed planted in your thoughts by that nasty little liar the devil. Oh, I should have brownies and ice cream for breakfast. Seed of Satan! Bad thought. You entertain that thought and you’ll be making bad choices all day long girl!
God created your powerful mind and created your body to respond as a result of your thoughts. You think it, you do it. So of course, you think worry and your body responds in worry. You think anxiety, and your body responds in anxiety.
We are given a list of 9 specific things to instead meditate on. THINK ABOUT THESE THINGS. I suggest you study Philippians 4:8 in several translations and make notes on the words that stand out to you, then meditate on them. Swish them around in your brain. Dwell on these things.
Max Lucado taught me the Greek word used in this popular scripture of do not be anxious about anything actually meant do not allow yourself to be perpetually anxious. Don’t stay in a cycle of anxiousness worrying about one thing after another. Don’t let anxiety control your mind. There’s a downward spiral of fret that will suck you under. Redirect your thoughts.
Ask for His Help
Leave it With Him
Meditate on Good
This is how we find calm in the chaos.