Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.
His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing.
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure,
and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent
and worthy of praise. ~ Philippians 4:6-8 (NLT)
I recently listened to Kay Arthur teaching on these verses. She had so many great points that I wrote down some of the highlights to share here. The mind is such a battlefield. That's where the Enemy is always trying to work on me with doubts, worry, second-guessing my actions, feelings of self-worth, etc. Can you identify? My mother has always said that, "Worry is a rocking chair that doesn't get you anywhere."
We are to be anxious for nothing (verse 6). The version above interprets this as worry but we're probably more familiar with this being translated as anxious. This is an imperative. That means I am commanded to not worry or not be anxious. Ack! So each time I worry, I must stop it! Easier said than done, right? Kay points out that Paul tells us how we can stop being anxious if we just continue reading this passage. There are three steps we should follow, in order:
- Prayer. When we feel that anxiety or worry coming on we should begin with a general prayer which focuses on God and who He is. Reflect on His sovereignty and His love.
- Supplication. This means that we pray a specific request--tell Him what we need.
- Thanksgiving. Stop and recognize that we have Jesus during this moment, this trial. No matter what's going on, we still have Jesus right by our side and we can be thankful for that.
And, because our minds are such a battlefield, we should focus on things that are:
- worthy of praise
What we think on is what we will be. Ponder that statement a moment. If we fix our minds on anger, untruth, and bitterness, then we will take on those qualities. I believe I'll choose the true, honorable, and excellent list.