Anxiety’s Antidote

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

Anxiety is an uncertainty, apprehension, or worry about the unknown. And I imagine that if you sat down and made a list of all the circumstances that concerned you in the last week, your list would be extensive. We worry about finances, the state of our country, our loved ones, an upcoming meeting, strained relationships, the scope of our diagnosis, not enough time, fear of failure, what to wear, and much more. Anxiety is rooted in fear of the unknown and a desire to control. For some of us, anxiety consumes our minds so much so that we dwell and stew over the circumstances. For others of us, anxiety grips us to our core so much so that it is paralyzing and/or isolating.

Paul tells us that we are not to be anxious about anything. In other words, nothing in this world should worry us. Well…that is easier said than done, right? So, what do we do when worry and anxiety grip us? We do the contrary of what our mind and heart want to do…we go to God in prayer. And we go to Him about everything – from the needed parking spot to the poor diagnosis. Jesus is plain in the Sermon on the Mount that we have a Heavenly Father who not only knows what we need (Mt 6:32) but desires to take care of us (6:26, 30) and therefore we are not to be anxious (6:25, 31, 34). Further, Jesus points out that worrying will not add a single hour onto our lives (Mt 6:27).

But the crux of our prayers and supplications (humble and earnest asks) is that it is done with thanksgiving. This again seems contrary to what our heart and mind want to do – we want to grumble, fixate, and solve the said circumstance. But Paul tells us that we are to be thankful in all circumstances (1 Thes 5: 18). If I’m honest, this, at times, feels preposterous! I think, “This is happening! How or why can I be thankful?” But our feelings don’t dictate what’s true. What’s true is who God is and what’s he’s like. What’s true is what he has done, is doing, and will do. Thus, we are thankful that he loves us with an irrevocable love (1 Jn 4:10), cares for and about us (Deut 32:11, 1 Pt 5:7) will provide for us (Ex 16, Mt 6:26,30), is for us (Rom 8:31), does what is best for us (Job 1:6-10, Jer 29:11), and promises to never leave or forsake us (Heb 13:5). We also are grateful that he has brought about our salvation, is conforming us to be more like Jesus, and will one day make all sad things come untrue (1 Pt 1:4-9). Therefore, the antidote to anxiety is thanksgiving.

Notice that when we bring our anxieties to God, he doesn’t give us more to worry about. He won’t allow us to keep spiraling downward. No. He gives us a supernatural peace. A peace that surpasses reason and understanding. A peace that pushes out fear of the unknown (Jn 14:27). A peace that brings about rest (Ex 33:14, Mt 11:28). A peace that not only reigns in our hearts but guards our hearts. How gracious and wonderful is the Lord to do that for us. I think we can add this promise of peace to another reason why, when we pray, we can be grateful.

Prayer: Dear Lord, you love me with an everlasting love – the same love that redeemed me, is the same love that refines me. Thus, you always do what’s best for me, even when it’s hard. This feels like more than I can handle, and honestly it is… but it is not too much for you. I confess that I have been holding onto the circumstances that worry me. This shows a lack of trust in your character, forgive me. Take these worries from me. Thank you that you promise to never leave me or forsake me. Fill me with peace that surpasses understanding.


  1. Make a list of what is worrying you.
  2. Have you been taking your worries to God in prayer? Why or why not?
  3. Take time to reflect on what’s true about God.

Hymn to Sing: “His Eye is on the Sparrow”

“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

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