Here’s the final post in our series on anxiety. If you missed any of the previous posts, you can find them here.
Philippians 4:4-9 is another go-to passage of mine when the angst of anxiety starts to get me down again. Here are four final insights. I’m particularly thankful for David Murray’s observations here from his excellent book, The Happy Christian.
- Pray everything
Worry about nothing by praying about everything. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God”. Get serious about prayer! Make a prayer list and cast your cares upon Him, trusting God to do right with them.
- Be thankful
Second be thankful. It says “with thanksgiving”. Develop the attitude of gratitude because it will give you altitude; a better perspective on your circumstances, as you rise above them remembering God’s past and present goodness. Count your blessings! Start every day thanking God you’re alive, have a roof over your head, food in your belly, friends, family, and above all God in your life, salvation, the certain hope of heaven.
- Think noble
Retrain your brain. Manage what your mind feeds on, like what you read and watch on TV/online. Think about what’s:
(a) true: tune in to truth-tellers not muck-spreaders.
(b) noble: seek out books, art and movies that inspire awe and worship.
(c) right: celebrate courageous actions, hardworking parents, loving fathers, devoted mothers and so on.
(d) pure: avert your gaze from filth.
(e) praise: think constructive not destructive. Try not to speak negatively about anyone or anything.
Even science says you can re-train your brain. It’s called brain plasticity. The more you try to think this way the more you will, the less anxious and ill you’ll be.
- Give generous
Fourth, give generous. Break the power of financial anxiety by trusting God and giving generously. Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not encouraging anyone to get into debt. I don’t believe God blesses disorder. Get your finances under control, and then be generous with what you have. We cannot serve God and money but we can serve God with money.
May God help all of us overcome anxiety!