Last week I discussed how Paul and Silas were blocked from going to Asia and instead were directed by God to go to Macedonia. There in Philippi they were beaten and put in jail when they cast a demon out of slave girl who used witchcraft to make money. This seems like a strange end for following the Lords direction. Most of us would be trying to figure out what we had done wrong and feeling a little pressure from the circumstances. But Paul and Silas were found praying and singing in the prison during the late night. It didn’t seem to bother them. Why?
Anxiety Listed High Among Adults
Did you know anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S.? Over 40 million adults are being affected physically, emotionally or mentally due to anxiety which includes fears or phobias. People are under a great deal of pressure because the weight of performing on the job is increasing and the fear of what can happen is not only constantly being discussed in the news its being shown in social media daily. Life is pushing people to the edge.
“I Can” Doesn’t Mean “I Will”
In the book of Philippians 4:13 there is a passage that has become very popular and without doubt I’m sure you’ve heard it. Paul says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” He says this as he is chained in a prison cell and yet he comforts his friends with these words to let them know he will continue to be fine. This passage is important for us as we read this and even quote it because we may have the wrong emphasis on the words.
For many of us when we read the words “I can” in our American get it done mindset we read accomplishing the challenges before me is dependent upon me using my strength and know how to find an answer to this problem. That is not what Paul was saying, the “I can” is not the emphasis. The point is found earlier when Paul in the same passage states that he had been in many difficult times without food or money and he had also had times when he had them. The secret was in God’s ability to be with him through out all of life’s challenges not in his ability to fix or solve the problems. We read it and say to ourselves yes, through God he will give me the fix for this crisis, but Paul says, God you are the fix while I am in this crisis. It is well with me, I can handle it as long as you are with me. I give myself away!
Disarming the Triggers in My Life Allows Me to Live Anxiety Free
Did you know that over 90% of all companies in the U.S. are run by CEO’s with control issues. What does that say about the direction our nations companies are going? Peace is a gift that God gives to us. Anxiety is what occurs when we try to fix things on our own. If you experience anxiety, ask yourself what triggers it. Are you expecting an outcome that hasn’t occurred, or are you afraid of what could happen or do you feel you’ve lost control? All of these and more can open the door for fears that trigger anxiety. The point is that God led Paul into this trap, are you fighting something that God is using to bring himself glory? Just because we face trials doesn’t mean we need to fix them or we’ve done something wrong. In this life you will have tribulation but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. These are the words of Jesus.
I believe pressures will continue to grow around us, but God is available to give us peace in our storms. The most important thing we can learn in this season is how to trust God and how to hear what he is telling us. Be encouraged, he will not leave you. May the Lord bless and keep you, may his face shine upon you and give you his peace!