Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Anxiety – We Can Live Without It

Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Ray 2019What – if anything – are we anxious about today? Some of my friends have voiced anxiousness about retirement. Will they have enough money to last? When should they retire? Should they work after they retire? Should they travel or save? When should they start taking Social Security? Again – will they have enough money to last? I hear anxiety in their voices.

What – if anything – are we anxious about today? As some of my friends get older – I have heard anxiousness in some of their voices concerning their health. How long will they live – post retirement? What will their health be like? Should they get long-term care insurance? Should they or when should they move into assisted living quarters? Should they find one that is associated with longer-term care? I hear anxiety in their voices.

What – if anything – are we anxious about today? Some of the folks I talk to and some on Facebook have expressed anxiousness about the upcoming elections. Some say they know who they will NOT vote for and some say they will have a hard time voting for any of the current candidates (I’m struggling too). Some complain about the current President. Some complain about the candidates on the other side. I know 2020’e Presidential elections will bring many moments of anxiousness for some. Some haven’t gotten over the 2016 election. I hear anxiety in their voices.

What – if anything – are we anxious about today? 2020 will not only bring the Presidential election in the fall – but in the spring – the United Methodist Church will hold their General Conference. I have heard all sorts of thoughts about what will happen to our denomination. Will she split – will she survive – will she dissolve? Will there be a place in the denomination for me? Will my church remain or leave or will we split up? I hear anxiety in their voices.

What – if anything – are we anxious about today? One thing we’re told we shouldn’t be anxious about is our salvation – our relationship with Jesus. Here is today’s passage in partial context. Philippians 4:4–9 – Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 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. 8 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. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

In some churches – people are left to doubt their salvation. In some churches – people are left to take their salvation for granted. I believe we shouldn’t take our salvation for granted – but neither should we be anxious about it. We can know that we know that we know that we are saved – yet salvation is not merely a set of prayers – it is a changed life – a changed heart for Christ. Let your gentleness be evident to all.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Come before God with the confidence given us in Christ our Lord. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

The final words in this passage – reminds us – 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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. We need not be anxious about our eternity with Christ. We can live without anxiety – in this area of our lives at least.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

November 29, 2019 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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