Left unchecked, our negative emotions can spiral down to self-pity, depression, and despair. But there is a way out: the powerful truth of God’s grace is the path to freedom and peace.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (Philippians 6:4).
Everyone experiences negative emotions. They can come and go quickly. Or they can linger and put us in a negative emotional state. Left unchecked, this negative emotional state can spiral down to self-pity, depression, and despair. Life is bleak down there and the path out is hard to see.
But there is a way out. The powerful truth of God’s grace is the path to freedom and peace. God directs this powerful truth to our minds. Here’s why. Our minds control our emotions. In other words, negative thinking generates negative thoughts. You feel anxious because you are thinking anxious thoughts. As truth changes your thinking, your feelings will follow suit. It’s really that simple.
Paul provides an example for us as it relates to anxiety. Everyone worries or feels anxious about tomorrow. This is part of being human. For 40 million Americans, anxiety is where they live. It is their constant emotional state. According to the dictionary, they are living with “a feeling of worry or unease about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome”. In simple terms, They fear a negative result in the future.
Symptoms include uneasiness, nervousness, always expecting the worse, confusion and helplessness. Sometimes these feelings escalate to panic and an overwhelming sense of helplessness and a loss of control. That last part is critical.
That feeling of being out of control is a big disrupter to the soul. But the idea that we can be in control is a lie. We are human beings, created to live in dependence on our creator. That is why Paul reminds us of this in his prescription for anxiety.
In every situation…present your requests to God. He is in control. And he has our best interests at heart. This is the powerful truth that can calms the anxious mind. You and I count control the future. But we have someone who loves us and cares for us and who is with us in every situation of life.
As humans, we worry about the future. And most of our worries are about things that will never happen. But we don’t have to let this worry grow to the level of anxiety. The answer is to trust Jesus Christ by offering our concerns and requests to him with an attitude of thanksgiving. That’s what will turn those worries and even anxiety into the peace that passes understanding.
Are you feeling worried or anxious today? If so, remember Paul’s encouragement. “Present your requests to God.” Pray today and thank God that he loves and cares for you and has already promised to meet all of your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.