ANXIOUS FOR NOTHING:  KEEP CALM & HAVE HOPE

As this new year begins, I believe that God has a message for us. It was given in the New Testament book of Philippians.

“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 comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
(Philippians 4: 6-7)

For anyone plagued by anxiety, I recommend a book by Max Lucado entitled ANXIOUS FOR NOTHING: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World. I recommend any of his books for any time, but today in our current situation this one meets a definite need.

This author is gifted to write and has used his gifts to bring hope and to bless many hearts including mine. Inspired by teachings from Philippians 4 and Lucado’s insight, Shawn McEnvoy shares an acrostic, C-A-L-M, for “Philippians 4’s Prescription for Anxiety.”

“Beloved pastor and author Max Lucado sees, via his giftedness in plumbing the depths of Scripture, if not a cure, at least a healing balm. And it’s hiding right in plain sight, right among Paul’s oft-quoted directive to ‘be anxious for nothing’ (Philippians 4:6).” (McEvoy)

McEnvoy interviewed Lucado about why he wrote on the issue of anxiety and chose his title from Philippians: ANXIOUS FOR NOTHING: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World.”

“The book is built around the passage in Philippians 4 that the Apostle Paul wrote. And that gives birth to the title of the book when the Apostle Paul said, ‘be anxious for nothing.’ When he writes, ‘be anxious for nothing,’ by the way, he doesn’t mean ‘never feel anxiety.’ The way that he constructed his Greek verb there is ‘do not allow yourself to be perpetually anxious,’ don’t allow yourself to slip into a mindset of perpetual anxiety. Anxiety is an option, but the Prison of Anxiety is not an option.

And he gives us such a wonderful teaching to deal with anxiety. First he says, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always.’ And then he says, ‘Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition let your requests be made known to God.’ And then he says, ‘With thanksgiving.’  And then he says, ‘Meditate on these things.’

So those are the four big ideas. And I took those four big ideas and created this little acronym C-A-L-M: first we Celebrate God, then we Ask God for help, we Leave the problem with God, and then we Meditate on good things.” (McEnvoy)

Max shared his reason for the book. “So basically the idea of the book is to help people have this as a tool with which to respond to the presence of anxiety. Again anxiety’s gonna come; anxiety will always knock at the door, but we don’t have to invite anxiety in for dinner. We respond by Celebrating God, Asking God for help, Leaving the problem with Him, and then Meditating on good things.” (Lucado)

I think “CALM” is one acrostic that will be helpful to remember. Of course it will only serve its purpose if I follow its ideas. In 2021 I intend to Celebrate God, Ask God for help, Leave the problem with Him, and then Meditate on good things. I am looking forward to a calm new year!

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