If you are anything like me, then you know what it is like to worry about something that is completely out of your control. This has been something I have really struggled with ever since quarantine started! Sometimes when the world feels heavy, it is so difficult to find peace in those situations. Add in all the stressors with everyday life, and that anxiety can quickly start to feel overwhelming. Jesus offers us everlasting peace that transcends our earthly understanding. We are reminded of this truth in Philippians 4:6-7:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Three Truths I’ve Learned About Anxiety:
When I am fearful about a situation or worried about the future, a practice I have recently implemented into my life is taking a step back. Our initial responses are almost always based on the habits we have established in our lives, so if we retrain ourselves to respond with gratitude, we are establishing a mindset of thankfulness instead of fear. It is impossible for anxiety and true thankfulness to coexist!
I think one of the most beautiful gifts God has ever given us is the promise that we are never alone. Even more, God wants to fight our battles for us. He doesn’t want us to struggle with fear and anxiety; He wants to be our source of strength and comfort during those times.
Isaiah 26:3 says, “you will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” What a beautiful reminder that perfect peace comes from Jesus alone. We can try achieving peace in different ways, but perfect peace, the peace that surpasses all understanding, cannot be achieved from ourselves or from any earthly external factors. Too often, we look for peace in all the wrong places, instead of turning to Jesus and accepting the perfect peace only He is able to give.
In the midst of everything going on in our world and in our own personal lives, a word that comes to mind is “surrender.” Jesus does not want us to be burdened by those things we cannot control, and those we were never meant to carry in the first place. Trusting and surrendering our worries and anxieties to Jesus instead of holding onto them ourselves is an important practice, and one I will admit I sometimes struggle with.
Learning to let go and surrender my life to Jesus is something I’ve had to do a lot of in the last year. Choosing to trust in His plan in moving to a different state and leaving my life in Oregon behind is the most prominent example. As hard as it is to let go and to walk into the unknown, I do know that God’s plans are higher than my own. And I do know that I would much rather follow in the plan God has for me than the plans I may have for myself.
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