Anxiety is at an all time high, but there's a prescription for dealing with it. Max Lucado invites readers into a study of Philippians 4:6-7 where the Apostle Paul admonishes the followers of Christ, "Do not be anxious about anything . . ."
Philippians 4:6 encourages the believer to "be anxious for nothing." As Lucado states, the apostle Paul seems to leave little leeway here. "Be anxious for nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero."
What's he suggesting? That we should literally be anxious for absolutely nothing? Lucado says, "The presence of anxiety is unavoidable, but the prison of anxiety is optional. It's the life of perpetual anxiety that Paul wants to address. Don't let anything in life leave you perpetually in angst."
Americans especially know about living in perpetual anxiety. According to one research program, anxiety-related issues are the number one mental health problem among women and are second only to alcohol and drug abuse among men. Stress-related ailments cost the nation $300 billion every year in medical bills and lost productivity. And use of sedative drugs like Xanax and Valium have skyrocketed in the last 15 years. Even students are feeling it. One psychologist reports that the average high school kid today has the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the early 1950s.
"The news about our anxiety is enough to make us anxious," says Lucado. But there's a prescription for dealing with it. Lucado invites readers into a study of Philippians 4:6-7, the most highlighted passage of any book on the planet, according to Amazon:
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.
"With His help you will learn to face the calamities of life. You'll learn how to talk yourself off the ledge. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you will learn to view bad news through the lens of sovereignty; to discern the lies of Satan and tell yourself the truth. You will manifest a gentleness that is evident to others. Anxiety comes with life. But it doesn't have to dominate your life."