4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
What is it that you worry about–the next test at school, keeping your job, how your kids will turn out, how to make the money last until the next paycheck, what will the doctor say? There are hundreds of things that may be legitimate things to think about, but Paul tells us not to be anxious about anything–just take everything to God in prayer. If we worry about things we haven’t prayed about, we are not obeying God. If we worry about things we have prayed about, we are not trusting God. Neither one of those is a good option.
Have you ever tried to distract a child who has his mind set on something by offering him something else instead. Maybe it’s a toy, maybe it’s a treat, maybe it’s a game or a video on our iPhone. Anything to get their minds on something else. If we wonder about how to deal with worry, Paul has the same kind of answer. He tells us to keep our minds occupied with good things–noble, pure, lovely, virtuous things–if we keep our minds focused on these good things, our worries will just get crowded our of our minds. Meditating on these good things is the way to experience God’s peace and His presence. Faith and fear can’t cohabitate. Which will you choose to live in your house?