ANXIOUS FOR NOTHING, FINDING CALM IN A CHAOTIC WORLD by Max Lucado.
Mr. Lucado bases this book on Philippians 4:4-8, and uses the word C-A-L-M: Celebrate, Ask, Leave, Meditate.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7 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.
Celebrate; rejoice in the Lord always. This is not a feeling but a decision to depend on God.
The author said anxiety is not a sin; it’s an emotion. Like anger, anxiety is not the sin. Sin comes with how we handle the emotions.
Be anxious about nothing does not mean to never be anxious, but not to allow ourselves to remain in a constant state of anxiety.
Mr. Lucado said some people will need counseling and/or medication to deal with their anxiety, and he said we should not let that make us feel like a person of less worth. As someone who has dealt with chronic depression and anxiety for years, this was a comfort for me to hear from a well-respected Christian leader.
Rejoice always, because of God’s Sovereignty, because he’s always in control. Rejoice always because of god’s mercy and forgiveness. Because God is always near, we don’t need to be anxious about anything. “Anxiety is needless because Jesus is near.”
Ask. Pray. Pray specifically, in detail, a child honoring their father with what they need. Sprinkle our requests with “thank yous,” thanking God for what we already have when we’re asking for more.
Leave our anxieties with God. He is our Father, who, when we gave our lives to him, took control and responsibility for us. We are his children and are free to call on all of his promises. His peace, which transcends understanding, will guard our minds.
When I was going through one of the hardest times in my life with anxiety, a man from my church first introduced the meaning of verse 7 to me. Many of my worries were irrational, and most of the time, I knew they were, but they still crushed me. He told me God could give me peace, even if I didn’t know why.
I haven’t found all the answers to all the things I fear and worry about, but God has given me peace still. Many times over the years, I have found such comfort from this verse.
Meditate on good things. The author said we don’t have to run every thought through the list in verse 8. We just need to keep our mind focused on Jesus, like abiding in the vine in John 15. Jesus holds up to all these qualities, so work to have our thoughts match up to Jesus.
We need to take action for these verses to work for us. We actively need to think about good things, the bible, hymns, God’s promises. Determine to learn more of god’s promises. We have to choose to put these things into our minds to get rid of the bad thoughts and anxieties the devil shoves at us.
I have enjoyed reading Max Lucado’s books for years, and I thank God for this Christian brother who is an encouragement for me.