During this unprecedented time associated with COVID-19, we can be tempted to fall into various sins. While there are many that I could mention, sinful anxiety comes to the surface. We are tempted to be anxious in this current situation, not only because we are afraid of getting very sick, but because of the pressure it is placing on relationships and on our finances. In fact, I think the tendency towards anxiety in our lives is often directly connected to people and possessions.
The Lord has reminded me of Philippians 4:6-7:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (NASB 1995 Edition).
Notice these verses highlight the choice we are all facing during this difficult time. In a sense, it is the fundamental choice in the Christian life: to be anxious or to pray. And the text is clear, in no situation are we to worry, but in every situation we are to pray! You may then ask, “What should we pray about?” Everything and anything that concerns you. In fact, when a thought comes into your head that is beginning to create anxiety, turn that thought into a prayer. Give it to God. This is why the word supplication is used which means very specific requests.
But in our prayers the real antidote to anxiety is praying with thanksgiving. Thanksgiving annihilates anxiety. When our minds and hearts are thankful that God is our Father and He loves us so much that He delights to give us good gifts, and when we remember that He is able and willing to provide and has already provided our greatest need for full forgiveness and perfect righteousness, anxiety fades away. It not only fades away but, according to verse 7, anxiety is then replaced by supernatural, unexplainable peace. His peace surpasses all comprehension. Praise the Lord! This New Testament passage reminds me of the Old Testament promise of Isaiah 26: 3:
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You (ESV).
Pastor Jeff Rich