“4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7 ESV
One of the things I love about God's Word is how personal it is! While the Bible speaks in general to all people, and more specifically to those of us who call ourselves Christ-followers, it also speaks to what we need in the challenging moments we all face in this life.
I have a dear friend who has been experiencing times of overwhelming anxiety over the last months. God is teaching and growing her through this, but it is still is difficult at times.
As I was thinking about my friend a coupe of days ago, I was drawn again to the above passage in Philippians. Many Christ-followers would be familiar with verse 6 and 7, a sort of "go-to verse" that many use when they want to fight the anxiety we all face.
But as I read over those few verses again, it's as if the Lord highlighted five simple words: The Lord is at hand. Those words really hit me in a way that I had not seen before. Maybe they hit you too.
The reason that my friend and I, and anyone else can "not be anxious" is not because I choose to try harder, or just because I might choose to memorize that verse. The foundation for why I can choose to not run to anxiousness is because the Lord is at hand. He is close by in the most joyful and most anxious moments of my life. He is ever-present in me by His indwelling Holy Spirit. Another translation reads “The Lord is near.” If Jesus was physically standing right by me, would that help me to not be anxious? I think the answer to that is a resounding YES!
I think about the disciples in a storm on the Sea of Galilee. While they are fearful that they will die, Jesus is sleeping in the back of the boat. When they wake Him up and He calms the storm, they are awestruck by His power. So not only is Jesus at hand in our anxious moments, He is also powerful!
So I want to remind you (and remind me) of these important things: Jesus is at hand AND Jesus is powerful. I must ask the Lord to bring these truths to the forefront of my mind and core of my heart when I have those overwhelming anxious moments. It is through His nearness and His power that I know He can redeem these moments to draw me closer to Him and grow me to be more and more like Him.
Lord, I am so thankful for how You speak so personally through Your Word. Thank You for these five words that remind me that You are at hand - You are near. Thank You also that these few verses say that when I bring my anxiety to You in prayer, You give me Your peace, the peace that surpasses understanding. Oh, how I need that peace, Lord! Thank You that Your peace can guard my heart and my mind. Help me to grow in exchanging my anxiety for Your peace. Thank You for answering my prayer. In the Name of Jesus!
Glen Solberg is a man who is passionate about marriage - his own and the marriages of those around him! He and his wife, Shawn, have been married since 1992 and have been investing in the marriages of others full-time since 2003. You can find out more by going to the About Page.
Written by Glen Solberg, Marriage Revolution, 2018. All Rights Reserved.