“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 understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7

Salvation through Christ Jesus, we know, does not come with an offer of a trouble free life. Rather, Jesus, speaking to His disciples in John 16:33 said:

“… in the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Experience has taught us that the godly will indeed suffer persecution. But we have also seen that the early church was birthed, grew and rose in the midst of persecution to become such a formidable force that they were described in Acts 17:6 as those who have turned the world upside down!; a clear proof and encouragement that we can soar above the storms and the tempest to a place where we are still able to remain fervent followers of our Lord and faithful stewards of all that He has committed into our care despite our challenges.

Two things that we must protect though, basically because they navigate our thoughts and perceptions and are strong influencers of who we are and the life we live – our hearts and minds. When anxiety and worry are allowed to sip into our hearts and minds they breach the protection that peace usually gives and weaken our heart’s ability to navigate our difficult seasons in the will of God. So, exactly what is it about anxiety that we need to guard our hearts and mind against?

i. Fear: anxiety is the natural breeding ground for fear and paranoia; and we know that once fear comes in faith is gone as both cannot co-exist. The greater danger with the loss of faith being that whatsoever is not of faith is sin – Romans 14:23.

ii. Ungodly intrusions into the heart and mind: Anxiety leaves our hearts and minds vulnerable and unguarded making it easy for negative and ungodly thoughts and perceptions to take a foothold. That breach in the natural protection that peace gives can leave our hearts and minds exposed to demonic intrusions and the activities of mind-bending demons.

iii. Being out of the rest of God: In Isaiah 30:15, the Lord said: “In returning and rest you shall be saved…” meaning that our salvation and deliverance is linked to our rest. Anxiety is a sign that we are not resting in God and proof that we are not confident that God will intervene to stop the threat we face. As Christians, we rest not because God stops every crisis we face but that in all that He allows us to go through, we are confident that He will be with us and ultimately work out His perfect will for us.

So often, we tie our peace to seeing the end of the crisis and willingly let our hearts remain in a state of anxiety until when the solution comes. But sometimes, an end to the crisis when we want and how we want it might not be His will. And so, we must rest our faith in hope trusting the One whom we have believed that He knows best when and how to intervene.

iv. Mental Health Issues: An excessive and persistent state of anxiety can harm several parts of the body system including the brain leading to either temporary or permanent mental health issues.

v. An evil heart of unbelief: Anxiety is a sign that we are veering away from resting our faith, our hope, our thoughts and perceptions on the solid foundation of the Word. We are grossly worried because we are not so sure that it will be with us according as the Lord has spoken. Hebrews 3:12 states:

“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.”

We face greater risks than the crisis that troubles our heart when we let that crisis lead our hearts and minds to a place of anxiety and fear! Anxiety can only make things worse!

God’s way is that we put our absolute faith and trust in Him by praying and casting all of our cares on Him while thanking Him for the assurances we have that He will come through for us.

We must resist anxiety no matter the pressure we face; for to do otherwise is to breach the natural protection that the peace of God gives to our hearts and minds.

I pray that God will give to us the divine capacity to resist and overcome anxiety; but much more than this that He will give to us such levels of faith and trust in Him that allows us to rest our hope solely on the grace that is ours through the finished work of Jesus our Lord.


Chi Onwuchekwa

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