We're kicking off our new series Anxious for Nothing today by learning how to deal with anxiety. We live in an Age of Anxiety. In fact, anxiety disorders in the U.S. are ranked as the #1 mental health problem among women and #2 among men, second only to drug and alcohol abuse. Most alarmingly, the average high school student today experiences the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient did in the early 1950's! So, what's the CAUSE behind this epidemic? Just a few of the things that contribute to killing our composure include rapid social change, advanced technology, constant global threats, media saturation, and even our own personal crises.
PAUL'S PRESCRIPTION PAD
For all the anxieties we face, "Dr. Paul" wrote the original prescription for anxiety in Philippians 4:6-8 in the Bible. Here, he details 4 steps to embrace God's CALM in your life, which include the following:
C = Control belongs to God.
A = Ask him for help.
L = Leave your worries with him.
M = Meditate on good things.
By following this prescription, we can start to truly learn how to "Be anxious for nothing!"
PEACE IN PRISON
In the passage in Philippians, Paul begins his prescription for peace with a command to REJOICE in the Lord, which he writes from his prison cell as he awaits trial before the Christian-killing Roman Emperor, Nero. There, Paul discovered that real, true JOY that comes from assurance of God's presence and love in our lives runs much deeper and stronger than happiness, which depends on what's happening in our lives!
Joy is ANCHORED in a belief in the SOVEREIGNTY of God... that God is IN CONTROL even when life seems out of control. See, at it's core, anxiety comes from a perceived loss of control. Rather than trying to control every situation, we can SURRENDER CONTROL to God. Lasting PEACE does not come from the ABSENCE of problems, but rather the PRESENCE of a Sovereign God who works everything together according to his perfect plan and power!
WHO FLIES YOUR PLANE?
Can I ask: Who is in control of your life? Who flies your plane? When it boils down to it, there are really 3 main ways you can view God's role in this life:
#1) God is absent. He doesn't exist.
#2) There is a God who started everything.. but then backed away.
#3) God is our Father, He's in complete control and he loves us like sons and daughters.
Friends, God never promised that life would be a smooth journey with no turbulence. In fact, Jesus warned us that we would face trouble in this world, but we can take heart because HE OVERCAME the world. Will you let the PEACE that surpasses understanding and comes from his Holy Spirit guard your heart and your mind today? Then, you can truly BE ANXIOUS FOR NOTHING!