Happy New Year!

Dear Beloved in Christ,

Do not be anxious about anything, 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 understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. –(Philippians 4:6-7)

Most of our worry and anxiety come from focusing on circumstances, problems, and the “what ifs” of this life. Granted, it’s true that some anxiety is physiological and may require medical treatment, but the everyday anxiety that most believers deal with is generally rooted in this one thing: unbelief. George Mueller, the 19th-century evangelist, was known as a man of great faith and prayer. He said, “The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.” It has also been said that worry is unbelief in disguise. Jesus Christ presents us with the cure for anxiety: faith in God (Matthew 6:25-34). Jesus could have summed up the whole lesson with these two sentences: “Cast all of your anxiety on God the Father. Show you trust him by bringing everything to him in prayer.” The Apostle Peter said, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) The word “cast” means to throw. We throw off our cares and toss them onto God’s big shoulders. God himself will take care of our needs. We throw our cares on God through prayer. The book of James tells us that the prayers of believers are powerful and effective: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16) The Apostle Paul taught the Philippians that prayer cures anxiety. According to Paul in our key verse (Philippians 4:6-7), our prayers ought to be filled with thanksgiving and gratitude. God answers these kinds of prayers with his supernatural peace. When we trust God with every care and concern, he invades us with divine peace. It’s the kind of peace we can’t understand, but it protects our hearts and minds--from anxiety. Have you ever noticed how worry and anxiety drain your strength?

You lay awake at night burdened with concerns. Instead, when worries begin to fill your mind, place those troubles in God’s capable hands. The Lord will tend to your concerns by either meeting the need or giving you something better. God’s sovereignty means our prayers can be answered far beyond even what we can ask or imagine: “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” (Ephesians 3:20) Take a moment to recognize your anxiety for what it is--a symptom of unbelief. Remember that the Lord knows your needs and sees your circumstances. He is with you now, walking through your trials with you, and he holds your tomorrow securely in his grip. Turn to God in prayer and trust in him completely. This is the only lasting cure for anxiety. May God Almighty provide you all a prosperous and blessed new year!

In Christ,
Rev. Shibu P Varghese