Right now, many of us experience day-to-day worry, fear, and anxiety due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, which has now claimed the lives of over 190,000 people around the world. You may worry about how the coronavirus may impact your health - but you also might worry about the economic implications. We don't know how much longer until we're back together at church, in schools, or at restaurants - but we do know that there is no need to let fear imprison us. Anxiety is a fact of life, but it doesn't have to dominate life. That's why we compiled a strategy for how to win the war on worry.
HOW TO WIN THE WAR ON WORRY
In Philippians 4:6-8, the Apostle Paul tells us this: "Do not worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."
When Paul wrote the book of Philippians in the New Testament of the Bible, he sat in a Roman prison cell, awaiting trial. He endured beatings and persecution for following Jesus. Yet, he managed to write these encouraging words to the church - telling believers not to worry about anything!
Could you use some CALM in your life during this crisis? God wants to give it to you! When anxiety attacks, here is a 4-Step Strategy on how to win the war on worry:
C = CONTROL belongs to God.
A = ASK Him for help.
L = LEAVE your worries with him.
M = MEDITATE on good things.
Most people have experienced situational anxiety at some point or another - when you think about your family, work or money, it can cause fear or panic and your thoughts go in every direction like an octopus on roller skates! It's mental. It's emotional. It can actually cause physical problems. Ultimately, we're not meant to carry burdens this way. That's why Paul's prescription for peace in Philippians 4 includes an ode to joy when faced with worry.
How did Paul hold this worry-free perspective? He had a bedrock belief in the sovereignty of God, which means he believed in God's complete control of every element of the universe. God rules over everything as the King of Heaven. We can take heart in this. God is writing your story from the first page to the final chapter - and even when things go wrong in the world, they're going to turn out right because of God's sovereignty.
WHERE TRUE PEACE COMES FROM
In the midst of our anxiety right now, we have an opportunity to learn that true peace doesn't come from an ABSENCE of crisis; rather, it comes from the PRESENCE of Christ in the crisis! When you know God is in complete control, it opens up the door for you to ask him for help. That's the second step in the War on Worry. When a crisis hits, Christians turn to God in PRAYER instead of succumbing to despair. We humbly plead with our great and powerful God to ask for Heaven's help.
We'll continue our series on anxiety next week as we learn how to leave our worries with God and meditate good things... but for now, let's commit Philippians 4:6-8 to memory. Use God's word as a weapon in your war on worry this week. Read it every day as you choose to trust that control belongs to God and as you ask Him for help this week!