Focus on Jesus

TNIV Scripture for Friday, July 25, 2008 [Philippians 4:6-8]

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

Remaining in a state of anxiety or fear keeps your focus off of God and the peace that comes as you trust Him. You will feel anxiety and fear many times in your life as life is filled with things that produce those feelings in you. However, according to Paul in his letter to the Philippians, you can choose to take your feelings to God and exchange them for peace, wisdom and strength to trust God. Paul even outlined the steps to dealing with your anxiety in these verses. First, you praise (prayer) God, then you tell him about the situation (petition) and how you are feeling, and you thank God (not for the situation, but that you are well graced) that He is in charge and trustworthy to do what is best. If you practice this whenever you feel anxious, the result will be God's peace that is beyond anything you can understand guarding your heart and mind. Paul ended this passage with a list of things you need to think about instead of your situation. Years ago, a missionary in Japan showed me this list (in verse 8) and suggested that Jesus is the only thing or one that is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. May you keep your eyes on Jesus and walk in His peace.
Beth Warlick, 7/25/2008