Overcome Anxiety with the Mighty Peace of God
Updated: Mar 24
Are you a worrier? Does your anxiety cause you to feel overwhelmed and edgy? You can find rest and overcome anxiety with the peace of God. Learn how in today's blog.
A God Who Is Peace
“Therefore, I tell you, don’t worry about your life – what you will eat or drink; or about your body – what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds flying about! They neither plant nor harvest, nor do they gather food into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they are?
Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to his or her life?
And why be anxious about clothing? Think about the fields of wild irises, and how they grow. They neither work nor spin thread, yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed as beautifully as one of these. If this is how God clothes grass in the field – which is here today and gone tomorrow, thrown in the oven – won’t He much more clothe you? What little trust you have!
So don’t be anxious asking, ‘What will we eat?’ “What will we drink?’ or “How will we be clothed?’ for it is the pagans who set their hearts on all those things.
Your heavenly Father knows you need them all.
But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness,
and all these things will be given to as well.
Don’t worry about tomorrow – tomorrow will worry about itself!
Today has enough troubles already.”
Matthew 6:25-34 (emphasis mine)
Where there is God’s peace, there is an absence of worry or anxiety, fretting or despair. I’ve read this passage many times throughout my life, and yet when I opened my Bible to this passage a couple days ago, the words took on an entirely new significance and meaning for me.
How often I have worried about things I had no control over? How many hours of my life have been irretrievably lost trying to predict an outcome so I could protect myself from possible pain or avoid disappointment? Or been all consumed with something I was planning - hoping every little detail would be perfect? Can you relate? Yet Jesus tells us not to worry and instead, above all else, to set our heart on knowing Him and seeking His Kingdom.
When Jesus said in John 14:27, “What I am leaving you with is peace – I am giving you my peace. I don’t give the way the world gives. Don’t let yourselves be upset or frightened.” is that as a Believer we have His peace. What does that mean? How can the Lord give a peace different from what the world gives? Well, what do you think about when you think about peace? So often I thought it meant calm; absence of turmoil, fear, violence or war; nice; soothing. Yet, my definition is different than what the Bible teaches us about peace.
The word for “peace” in Hebrew is “shalom”. Shalom means something different all together. Shalom means wholeness, completeness, lacking in nothing, perfect. Wow! The shalom of Jesus Christ is complete, whole, perfect, lacking in no-thing!
Then if I understand what shalom means, I can trust the Lord to provide and I have no cause for worry or anxiety. All I need is supplied in and by El Shaddai, a Hebrew name for God meaning All Sufficient One.
In Matthew 6:30 Jesus said, “If this is how God clothes grass in the field – which is here today and gone tomorrow, thrown in the oven – won’t He much more clothe you?” I wonder, how often do we keep God from giving us all He wants to give us because our hearts are not open to accept His love, His generosity? Where, because of life experiences, broken hearts, and shattered dreams, have we have settled for the costume jewelry? When our good, gracious and loving Father longs to give us real pearls and diamonds and adorn us as the sons and daughters of the King that we really are in Christ Jesus!
In my own life it has taken a long healing process for me to trust God; to accept God’s best; to desperately seek Him; to surrender my heart, soul, mind, and emotions to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
I had to come to the end of myself where I realized that Jesus Christ was all I needed … because He was all I had.
I am far from perfect, and I fail often enough…. but I’ve come to realize trust and surrender like this is a choice. It’s a daily choice I make. In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers says,
“God will not do for us what I can do. And I cannot do what only God can do.”
Can you think back to a time, or many times, in your life when the Lord provided? When His hand was so evident that it was unmistakable? I can. Worrying did not change the outcome or bring His blessings … trusting did. God is greatly pleased when we trust Him. And, as you may testify, when God pours out His blessings it is different than anything else we could ever experience! We know His lavish love. We feel His love … individually, tangibly, personally. We know His tender mercy and His extravagant grace … for we never, ever, ever get what we deserve.
Several years ago, I experienced this through two very dear friends. At the time, one friend I’d known for twenty years and the other for five. We had agreed to go on a “Girl’s Trip” including a women’s retreat in Asheville, North Carolina. From the beginning they said to me, “We want to bless you.” It was hard for me to actually comprehend what that meant; for their friendship, love, and presence in my life was blessing. I was to find out soon enough.
They purchased airfare from Canada and registered for the conference as well as booking an elegant B&B for the day the retreat ended. They insisted on paying for all gas and meals during their visit; took me to the grocery store, making inquiries as to things I liked – and giddy with delight, they added many things not on my grocery list to the shopping cart. They brought gifts of clothing and lovely body wash, lotions and personal care items to gift me with. They asked me to make an appointment with my salon so they could bless me with a haircut and then proceeded to purchase a basket full of hair and body care items at the salon for me! In addition, they gave me beautiful and meaningful gifts about believing God for the dreams He has placed in my heart … including a book, The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson along with heartfelt cards of love and friendship.
To emphasis their extravagant generosity and the point I am sharing, this happened seven months after I surrendered the area of finances to the Lord; and also, at a time when I was living from one tight paycheck to the next. That meant, purchasing things I wanted - beyond basic essential things I needed - was rare if not impossible, including an appointment at a hair salon. Below is an excerpt of what I wrote my dear friends:
I am still stunned and speechless at your kindness and generosity. With each fond memory and wherever I look; I feel how much you blessed me. I see how much you blessed me. I remember how much you blessed me … and I am blessed all over again. I am still overwhelmed, still processing it all, still trying to absorb it all. It was very hard for me to let you both give ... especially since I so wanted to give to you as well, and yet could not begin to give to you the way you gave to me. “Thank you” is far too insufficient to express the depth of my gratitude and how much you have touched my heart and life with your love!
I share this experience with you because I think it is such a vivid illustration of how much God loves us and longs to bless us. I received the love of my dear friends, and I received God’s love through them. The Lord provided everything I needed and so much more! So much more!
What is it the Lord wants to give you? What longing in your heart does He want to fulfill? What empty spaces in your soul does He long to fill with His living water? What areas of your life does He long to pour out His grace and favor on you? Will you let Him?
“Clothed with strength and dignity she can laugh at the days to come.”
When we are clothed in the strength and dignity of the Lord, our confidence is in Him. When we trust Him completely, we can live in today and laugh at the days to come, not worry. We are confident He will take care of us. We can rest in His love. We know Shalom.
This blog is by Freedom to Flourish Life Coaching Founder and Christian Life Coach, Jen Stone-Sexton. She is currently accepting new clients. You can learn more about Jen here.
Jennifer Stone-Sexton © 2022. Freedom to Flourish Life Coaching. All Rights Reserved.
My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers, Barbour and Company, Inc., Westwood, NJ
All Scripture references and quotations used with permission: Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern, Published by Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc., Clarksville, Maryland USA & Jerusalem, Israel
Photo Credits: Cover and Photo 1 by Ben White on Unsplash | Photo 2 Graphic Art by Morgan Howard | Photo 3 by Becca Tapert on Unsplash | Photo 4 by Rachel McDermott on Unsplash