The great antidote to anxiety is to come to God in prayer about everything. “Do not be anxious about anything, 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 understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). Nothing’s too big for Him to handle or too small to escape His attention. Paul said we’re to come to God “with thanksgiving.” We should thank Him for His past faithfulness in delivering us from troubles. We should thank Him for the fact that He’s in control of every circumstance of our lives and that nothing can touch us that He doesn’t allow. We should thank Him that in His infinite wisdom He’s able to work in this circumstance for our good. We can thank Him that He won’t allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13).
The promised result is not deliverance, but the peace of God. One of the reasons we don’t find this peace is that all too often we won’t settle for anything other than deliverance from the trouble. But God, through Paul, promises us peace, a peace that is unexplainable. It will guard our hearts and minds against the anxiety to which you and I are so prone.
Holiness: Day by Day (Colorado Springs, CO; Navpress; 2008) p. 81
Books by Jerry Bridges
Other Quotes by Jerry Bridges
Clearly, thanksgiving is a fundamental component of the mental framework that largely controls Paul’s intercession. But for what does Paul offer thanks? For what do we commonly give thanks? We say grace at meals, thanking God for our food; we give thanks when we receive material blessings—when the mortgage we’ve applied for comes through, or when we first turn on the ignition in a car we’ve just purchased. We may sigh a prayer of sweaty thanks after a near miss on the highway; we may utter a prayer of sincere and fervent thanks when we recover from serious illness. We may actually offer brief thanksgiving when we hear that someone we know has recently been converted. But by and large, our thanksgiving seems to be tied rather tightly to our material well-being and comfort. The unvarnished truth is that what we most frequently give thanks for betrays what we most highly value. If a large percentage of our thanksgiving is for material prosperity, it is because we value material prosperity proportionately. That is why, when we first turn to Paul’s thanksgivings, they may startle us; they may even seem alien, for they do not focus on what many of us habitually cherish. Paul gives thanks for signs of grace among Christians, among the Christians whom he is addressing.
~D. A. Carson~
A Call to Spiritual Reformation (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Book House Company; 1992) p. 40-41.
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