As the holiday season approaches, it’s a time filled with joy, togetherness, and celebration. However, for many, it can also bring about feelings of anxiety and stress. The pressures of social expectations, the rush of preparations, and the fear of the unknown can all contribute to this anxiety. If you’ve ever battled anxiety, you know that it’s a formidable opponent. But here’s the good news – there’s ways for overcoming anxiety and find peace in every season.
“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.” – Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
Reflection 1: The Nature of Anxiety
Anxiety, in its essence, is a reaction to the unknown. It’s that feeling of unease when we face circumstances or situations beyond our control. We might attempt to combat it by seeking control, but in reality, this often turns out to be a facade. Insecurity, stress, and the belief that we can’t control everything are common causes of anxiety. Take a moment to reflect on your own life. What are the triggers for your anxiety, especially during the holiday season
Reflection 2: The Anitodote of Anxiety
Thankfully, the Bible provides us with an antidote to anxiety in Philippians 4:6-7. It begins with the powerful command: “Do not be anxious about anything.” This isn’t merely wishful thinking; it’s an invitation backed by divine wisdom and promise. The antidote comprises prayer, petition, and thanksgiving. It’s about approaching God with your anxieties, laying them at His feet, and doing so with a heart filled with gratitude. This act opens the door to His peace, a peace that defies human understanding.
Reflection 3: Practical Steps to Peace
Now, how do we put this antidote into practice? Two key steps can guide us. First, practice the positive. It’s not enough to know you should be thankful; you must actively engage in thanksgiving. Write down the excellent and praiseworthy things in your life. Speak them aloud. Secondly, focus on what you DO know. In a world filled with uncertainties, remember what you’re certain of: God’s unwavering presence and love. Bottom line, you must engage in DOING what God is proposing. It is not enough to just read the verse or quote the verse, you must DO the verse!
As you prepare to celebrate the holiday season, remember that anxiety does not have the final say in your life. Through prayer, gratitude, and a focus on what you do know, you can walk a path of peace, even in the face of uncertainty. The divine promise from Philippians 4:6-7 assures us that God’s peace will stand guard over our hearts and minds. So, let this holiday season be a time of joy, love, and, most importantly, peace.
Dear Heavenly Father, as I approach this holiday season, I recognize that anxiety desires to loom like a shadow over my celebrations. I rejoice in the wisdom you’ve given me in your Word to overcome this anxiety. I declare that I will choose to turn to you in prayer and petition, with a heart full of gratitude. Thank you for the promise of your peace, which surpasses all my understanding and guards my heart and mind. Nudge me Holy Spirit and remind me to practice thanksgiving daily and to focus on the certainties of your love and presence. I declare victory over anxiety, Lord and I will fully embrace the joy and meaning of this season. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
To learn more on this topic:
Walkthrough this devotional: Enforcing Prayer:10 Days of Gratitude https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/28689-enforcing-prayer-10-days-of-gratitude
Watch this YouTube Series: https://youtu.be/0KDZiw8QTN8