“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6
Anxiety, like anger and unforgiveness, is an all-too-common struggle – even among disciples of Jesus. As with anger and unforgiveness, we can know that anxiety is against God’s will for our lives without knowing how to be free of it. We can agree that God is right in saying that we shouldn’t be anxious, but we still find ourselves fretting, worrying, and being fearful. The what if’s of life can fill our minds even as we are controlled by our strong impulse to be in control.
Agreeing in our minds that God’s way is right is essential, but it obviously isn’t enough. This is Romans 7 living, and it is limited to life under the law. We are beckoned by our Master Jesus to join Him in the Spirit-empowered life of Romans 8. It is the mind governed by the Spirit, after all, that is marked by life and peace (Romans 8:6).
There is a process for this, and our Master is patient in leading us through it, but we must choose to follow Him. I invite you to meditate today on some of the incredible truths the apostle Paul expressed in Romans 8. They show some of the glorious realities that are foundational to our freedom from anxiety, stress, and worry.
- Those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God (Romans 8:14). Think on the magnitude of that statement! If God is our Father, we really can trust Him to be aware of our situations, concerned for our well-being, and capable of doing what is needed to meet our needs. We can say with David that Yahweh is our Shepherd, but we can go even farther. Yahweh is our Father! Paul contrasts the spirit of fear with the Spirit of our adoption as children. Consider carefully why He would set these against each other. How is being an adopted son or daughter of God the antithesis of having a spirit of fear?
- If we are children of God, then we are co-heirs with Jesus of everything that belongs to God (Romans 8:16). As Paul expressed a little later, if God did not withhold His own Son from us, won’t He also generously give us all things (8:32)? Think on this, Disciple: if God desires to share so much that is good with you for all of eternity, why would He intend for you to be overwhelmed now?
- Nothing in all of creation – seen or unseen – can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:35-39). If we understand that love means commitment to someone’s best, think about what Paul’s statements mean for you! No matter what you face in this fallen and corrupted world, nothing can keep God from being committed to your very best. Even if it means you will face hard things, your Father will shape you to be more like Jesus through them all, which is the greatest good there is (Romans 8:28-30)! No experience need be wasted in His great work for our good.
Think on these things today, Disciple. As you do, may the Father fill you with confidence in His strong, wise, and good presence in your life. And may that confidence work in you to drive out any anxiety that may be keeping you prisoner today.
Pursuing the Spirit-life of peace with you,