2020 has been a challenging year. Our world has been turned upside down with Covid, quarantines, social distancing and mask orders, business closings and job losses, racism, riots, looting, slander, elections and recounts and doubt, and all the struggles and anxiousness that comes along with that. But God says we don’t need to be anxious. That we can still have peace. Whatever the circumstance, we have much to be thankful for. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, what are the things you are thankful for?
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.
I was watching a virtual conference and one was on anxiety during these times and this very scripture. It was very good so I am stealing some of the things he had to say. First, he mentioned that joy is not a feeling, but a state of mind. I think happiness is a feeling, while joy helps you to focus on the good things and how to deal with the hard things in life. Joy is confidence in God. We know that no matter what we go through, we can always rely on Him. Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” The context is not that we are always happy or can do anything, but that we can get through whatever the world or the devil throws at us because of the confidence we have in God. When we are joy-ful, we are full of joy and there is no room for anxiety or despair. The peace of God is His presence through chaos. Jesus’ resurrection gives us a nearness and access to Him. He is always there for us.
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
Even through hard times (maybe especially through them), we should think about what we are thankful for and the blessings that we have in our life. Sometimes we forget about the good things in our lives, especially the little things. As I am typing this, I am looking out the window watching the squirrels play and gather nuts and seeing the fallen leaves and it just put a smile on my face. As I look back on my life, there have been so many experiences, people, and places I have been that have brought joy to my life. And, above all, knowing God has a plan, and He has already given me so much; my future is in heaven because Jesus came to this world and died on the cross, paying for my sins. He rose from the dead, He conquered death and sin and He is coming again and one day those of us who believe in Him will be with Him in heaven forever.
To repeat verse 8 in Philippians 4: 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.
How can we be free from anxiety? Think of these things… what you know about God instead of what you can’t control or what you fear is true about the world.
2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
5 things to do to overcome anxiety of the world today:
- Start your morning in prayer and receive Jesus’ peace.
- Stop consuming the news cycle.
- Start consuming scriptures.
- Stop thinking of what you can’t control.
- Start thinking on all that God controls. Trust in Jesus
You can do this with the Holy Spirit that God gives to all His children. Know that we are secure in Him.
2 Peter 1:2-4
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.