“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything…”
This is so very all-encompassing. There are no cracks, no backdoors, no exceptions. All or nothing sums it up. The Holy Spirit, through Paul, is telling us that anxiety of any nature is redeemable, curable. In fact, there is a vaccine. Wow, give me the full dose! Just think about a usual day—is there ever one that is perfectly free from anxious moments? They may be minor, but they are there. I could create a list, but it is better if you do your own. You might start with the nagging ones, those that seem to haunt your peace in life. When will the other shoe drop? Don’t tell me that during these pandemic months, your anxiety level has not risen.
Pray with thanksgiving
I mentioned the vaccine. Well, Paul shares it in the same verse. “…by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God…” Sounds easy enough. If you notice the Spirit is inviting us to pray, make our requests, but the real key to me is ‘with thanksgiving’. Because you are actually transferring your worries to God, believing, and your trust in his Sovereign power is so great that you are already thanking him even before the transaction is complete. That’s called faith.
So, with what does God replace anxiety? Peace that passes all understanding—and it guards your heart and mind—in Christ Jesus. Anybody in to peace? What an exchange-peace versus anxiety! He has promised that he will never leave you nor forsake you. The Psalmist was speaking to the same thing. “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved” (v. 55.22). I underlined never for emphasis. Pray, request, cast, thank and enjoy your peace.