Dr. Randy Carlson
In the previous blog, 6 Steps to Rest and Anxious Mind – Part 1, we looked at the first three steps that the Apostle Paul outlined in Philippians 4:6: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (NKJV).
Number four on our list of how to rest an anxious mind is a few verses up from that. Paul is writing to us from prison and he’s talking about rejoicing …
- Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say, rejoice” (Philippians 4:4 NKJV).
But what is he encouraging us to rejoice in? He’s not to rejoice and celebrate my anxiety. Many times, we confuse rejoicing in the Lord with rejoicing in the junk that’s going on in our lives. I’m just going to rejoice in this pain. I don’t want to rejoice in the cancer diagnosis.
No, it comes back to the focus that we have – being able to rejoice in God no matter what we are facing at any particular moment. Not rejoicing in our worry, our fears or our problems, but rejoicing in the Lord, which is a daily commitment.
- Change your focus.
Jesus said, in Luke 12:29-31, “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you” (NKJV). We’re to seek the kingdom of God. We’re are to focus on Christ’s reign. When we focus on the fact that He rules and reigns in the universe, it puts us into our own little perspective, doesn’t it?
- Meditate intentionally.
Meditate means to contemplate, ponder, think and consider. If you’re dealing with an anxious mind, meditate on the right things. Again, we have more wisdom from Paul. He says, “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, if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
Our meditation is to be on God, to be on scripture, to be on His love for us intentionally. After all of these things, if we have this restless mind, and we do these things, scripture promises – And then we will experience God’s peace (Philippians 4:9).
I’ve learned when we do these things every day intentionally, they truly make a difference in our lives. Paul’s instruction comes with a promise – then the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).
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