EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was written by Jimmie Sheffield, Assistant to the Executive Director at the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.
During COVID-19, many people have expressed some level of anxiety related to health, family, finances, church and much more. Let’s face it – we have all felt those anxious moments when we hear the number of COVID-19 cases increasing daily. We wonder if this situation is ever going to end.
As the people of God, we have great assurance in God’s Word that will help us with our anxieties. Philippians 4: 6-7 provides some great hope and encouragement for all of us. These verses read as follows:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (New International Version)
This scripture tells us give to all our worries (anxieties) to God. You begin to experience hope and peace when you pray. It is okay to ask others for help, read books, read articles and listen to videos about dealing with anxieties; but, for real lasting peace, one must pray to our wonderful God.
As we pray, this scripture tells us to be thankful. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” As we pray and give thanks for God, we give thanks not “for” all circumstances, but “in” all circumstances. Even in the midst of this pandemic, we can give thanks to God for what He is trying to accomplish and for the peace He gives us in the midst of trials and troubles.
In addition, this scripture in Philippians tells us that we will have God’s peace when we pray with thanksgiving. The wonderful thing about God’s peace is that it guards our hearts and minds. All of our emotions, feelings, and thoughts will be guarded. What a wonderful promise!
Lastly, this scripture tells us this is all possible “in Christ Jesus.” When you put your life in the hands of Jesus, He will provide all you need as you try to live out your Christian life.
We will all have anxieties and worries; but we don’t have to let them dictate our outlook on life. God is ready and willing to help in times of stress, even during a pandemic. It begins with prayer. Try it. You will like the results.