Philippians 4, Verses 4-9 - 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. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
With the exception of people like Paul in the Bible or Tony Robbins, we all face challenges with anxiety from time to time. There are a number of ways to respond to anxiety. We often respond to the unknown with unease. The unknown can keep us on edge almost continuously, it can trigger PTSD symptoms, and it can be dangerous to our mental, spiritual and even physical health. When something we are counting on falls through, disappointment turns to grief and then recovery. If not recovery, then anxiety and other negative things.
Don't place your bets on what you think will be with you tomorrow, or what you think you might lose. Place your bets on things like charity, acceptance, wisdom, faith, and hope. Those are sure things, pure things and they come through 100% of the time. Life events do not always come through, and you've likely lost a bet or more before. Rather than projecting the past into the future, the framework needs to be altogether different. Philippians chapter 4, verses 4-9 are very popular verses for Christians, and offer an understanding response as well as solutions to the problem of anxiety. Paul gives two actionable items: (1) to pray requests to God in thanksgiving, and (2) to think on excellent and praiseworthy things.
Look up at the sky. Taste food. Actually get on your knees and pray. Listen or remember a favorite song. Smell your skin. Remember a meaningful hug. Stir your mind to answer the question, "What is excellent and praiseworthy?" from this looking, tasting, praying, listening, touching and smelling. Doing this is grounding for anyone, and something I do to ground myself.
I've learned it is key with anxiety to be gentle with yourself, and with others. Remember your worth and the worth of others. Love yourself properly. Remember to love others as we would ourself. - it's the golden rule.
Dear God, You are most excellent and praiseworthy. I thank Paul for his meaningful words in Philippians and the sacrifice he made with his life and death for the sake of the Church. I will work to focus more on excellent and praiseworthy things. I pray for my nation that has the #1 highest anxiety rate in the world. I pray for our busy, tensed up lives, and ask for more than medication and counseling to resolve the issue. I pray for the state of individuals today. I pray for my state. I am optimistic. With thanksgiving I rejoice because what is excellent will prevail. Amen.
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