How did that go by so fast? It’s wrap-up week already, friends! It’s time to grab your study guides and review our journey together, and if you haven’t finished the videos, or you want to rewatch them and take more notes (I do it all the time!), you have all week to catch up.
This study was divine interference in my life. Was it for you? As I wrote in the beginning, anxiety is a monster enemy. It is perfectly willing to steal as much of life if we let it. But through this study we have learned to fight it with our firmly-rooted trust in Jesus Christ and with the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17).
In this world you will have trouble… — John 16:33
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. — Philippians 4:6-7
Putting our white-knuckle fears and disappointing hardships in the hands of our good, good Father isn’t denying their reality. It doesn’t pat-pat the head of troubles and call them cute. On the contrary! Placing our hope in Jesus is entrusting them to Him knowing that He is in full control and we are not and asking Him to work on our behalf as we walk in the peace that He promised to give us.
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. — John 14:27
His peace. We can have peace because “the Lord is at hand” (Philippians 4:5).
Peace is within reach, not for a lack of problems, but for the presence of a sovereign Lord. ~ Max
We can calmly take our concerns to God because He is as near as our next breath. ~ Max
Like we practiced in this study, sometimes we have to get a little violent with our anxiety if it keeps harassing us. The Word says
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. — 1 Peter 5:7
Throw them with all of your might. Hurl your stress to God. And if they crawl back towards you, fling them again. Jesus will be with you to help.
Martin Luther said, “You cannot keep birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair”. We don’t have to let our fears and worries build a nest. We can focus our minds and choose what we think about, what holy Scripture says to think about:
…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. — Philippians 4:8
In the middle of the storm you are facing, take a breath, friend. Abide in Christ. Lean on Him. Listen for His sweet and tender voice. Remind yourself that God is good and He loves you. He’s trustworthy and His track record is marvelous. Choose to think about what is lovely and praiseworthy. Rejoice in the good things God has done for you. Remind Him of your trust and hope in Him and continue to do right. Insodoing you will bear the fruit that will bless your life abundantly!
But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, He will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness. — Galatians 5:22-23
Those aren’t natural responses to this chaotic, broken, and painful world full of stress and anxiety! That’s the Holy Spirit’s business transforming us as we put our faith and trust in God even in the middle of struggles.
As we do our part — rejoice in the Lord, purse a gentle spirit, pray about everything, and cling to gratitude — God does His part. He bestows upon us the peace of God. ~ Max
Lay claim to every biblical promise you can remember and set out to learn a few more. Grip them for the life-preservers they are. Resist the urge to exaggerate, overstate, or amplify. Focus on the facts and nothing more. Pray and trust. ~ Max
Amen and amen!