Peace Week 2!: Stop Freaking Out

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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)

Rejoice. Dial it down. Look for him. Stop freaking out. Tell Him what you want. Say thanks for what you’ve got. Wait for the peace. Think about better things.

peace_350That collection of very short imperative sentences (commands) has changed my life. It is the path to peace of mind in Jesus.

v. 4: Push your mental joy button because Jesus is Lord. Repeat.

v. 5: Avoid extreme reactions. Remember he’s coming back.

v. 6: Reject your own anxiety. Tell God what you would like to see happen (and trust him to decide if it will or not). Remember that he likes to give you good things – and say thanks for some of the obvious ones.

v. 7: Wait for the peace that doesn’t make sense to show up with the guard that keeps it it from falling out again.

v. 8: Have the bouncer in your brain check your thoughts at the door: Is it true? Is it positive? Then let it in. Otherwise, get out.

Think: If you struggle with anxiety, look for which of these things you might be missing. It’s not a magic formula; it’s how we’re meant to trust God. And trusting God is the key to having peace. Think about a specific way you could practice each item.

Pray: Ask God to help you to obey these commands and to find that peace that transcends all understanding.

Do: Write that first paragraph of short sentences on a card or a sticky note along with the reference, Philippians 4:4-8. Put it somewhere you’re likely to find it the next time you feel like you’ve lost your peace of mind.