We’re All Freaking Out (And Why We Don’t Need To)
DAY 5 OF 5
An Eternal Perspective
A key aspect of combating anxiety is changing the filter you use to see life.
Paul again helps us in learning how to do this. As Paul launched into how to battle anxiety in Philippians, he started by saying: “Rejoice [be joyful] in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)
This is another one of those verses where I’m tempted to roll my eyes and think, Are you saying we can just choose joy, Paul? It’s that simple? Like, I just choose to be joyful?
It helps to remember that Paul wrote those words while chained in a prison cell, waiting to receive the death penalty. He clearly has the street creds to make such a claim.
Notice he doesn’t say, “Rejoice in the circumstances.” He says, “Rejoice in the Lord” in every circumstance.
Paul would say that you can choose to see the world around you with either an earthly perspective, thinking, Life sucks. This is always how it’s going to be. Bad things always happen to me, or you can choose to see the world with an eternal perspective, setting your eyes on the joy of spending an eternity in heaven with Jesus.
That’s how Paul was able to choose joy: he maintained an eternal perspective. He put the “joy in the Lord” filter over everything in his life. He repeatedly said things like, “The light and momentary pains are nothing compared to the eternity awaiting us” (see 2 Corinthians 4:17), and “To live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).
Paul’s attitude was essentially, No matter what I face, through Jesus I’m going to spend forever with God in paradise. A hundred years from now when I’m in heaven, the fact that I was chained to a prison guard for a few hard months won’t be a big deal. I can always choose joy, because my joy is in the Lord.
Even in the worst, most mundane or frustrating moments, I can choose to look for how God is working and for his goodness. I can put the “joy in the Lord” filter on, whatever I’m facing. The more I do, the more my feelings shift from worry to joy.
Do you find it difficult to believe that you can choose to find joy, no matter the circumstances? How would practicing this on a daily basis change your level of anxiety?
We hope this plan encouraged you. Learn more about replacing the negative lies in your mind with joy filled, God focused thinking by checking out We're All Freaking Out (and Why We Don't Need To) here.
About this Plan
At least 366 times, the Bible tells us not to be anxious. But do those commandments really count in the wake of a pandemic, financial struggles, relational brokenness, or middle-of-the-night fears that seem beyond our co...
We would like to thank WaterBrook Multnomah for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: https://waterbrookmultnomah.com/books/669180/were-all-freaking-out-and-why-we-dont-need-to-by-david-marvin/
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