We are anxious, worried, scared. The following passage gives us five practical actions for dealing with worry and fear and anxiety.
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.Philippians 4:4-9
1. “Rejoice in the Lord”
Praise the Lord for His goodness to us. He has been good to us, but it can be easy to forget that during times of difficulty. Remember how He has been good, and rejoice!
2. “Let your gentleness be known”
This doesn’t mean to get on Facebook or Twitter and tell the whole world, “Look at me! I’m gentle!”
As we are barricaded inside our homes and stressed out and frustrated, be gentle with your spouse, with your parents, with your children, your roommates, whoever your companions are during this time.
If you are among those who have to leave the safety of home and go into the workplace, the hospital, the grocery stores, etc., be gentle with your coworkers, your customers, your clients, your patients, your boss.
As you go in search of supplies for yourself and your family in this time of panic buying, be gentle with the grocery store and restaurant employees and fellow shoppers.
We are all stressed out. Worried about the illness itself, worried about our economy, frustrated that we can’t find basic supplies, tired because we aren’t sleeping well, losing work and therefore income. Be kind to your fellow stressed-out neighbor.
3. “Let your requests be made known to God”
Pray, specifically with an attitude of gratefulness, and tell God all about everything that is worrying, scaring, and frustrating you right now. Bare your soul. Be honest and don’t hold anything back. Lay it all on Him, so that you may…
4. “Be anxious for nothing”
5. “Meditate on these things”
The noble, just, pure, lovely, virtuous, praiseworthy, of good report things. Think on these things. The flipside is also true. Our social media feeds and news reports are filled with things that do not meet these criteria. Yes, we ought to be informed. And, yes, we ought not ignore injustices. However, we must fill our minds with things that are good. Scripture ought to be one of them. Try to spend more time reading the Bible than reading Facebook.
In addition to these five actions in this passage, God has given us three promises, if we do these things:
- “The Lord is at hand.”
- “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
- “The God of peace will be with you.”
Remind yourself of these promises and take comfort from them during this difficult time. Know that whatever happens to you and your family and your friends, even if it is the worst-case scenario, that the God of peace is with you.