Yesterday we had a strong thunderstorm roll through our area that brought lighting and hail which got me thinking about this this Thought for the Day. What comes to mind when you read the title of this post? If you were like me, and grew up with the classic TV show “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” an image of Linus with his security blanket may come to mind. Or maybe you may be thinking about the Downy Infusions Calm TV Commercial that shows a cute little boy who is awakened by a thunder and lightning storm outside. As he runs down the hall scared to Mommy and climbs onto her bed, he smells a fragrance coming from one of the blankets that immediately calms him by the lavender scent. Instead of staying in bed with his Mommy, he grabs the blanket and goes back to his bed smelling it all the way. While I could write about either one of these, the inspiration came from my “four-legged son” Jake, who like the frightened young boy, is also terrified by thunderstorms and goes running to his “Mommy.” We always know when a storm is coming because Jake starts shaking like a leaf and incessantly panting. And last night was no different, he was a mess and would not calm down. I remember one day, my wife sent me these photos because Jake was freaking out so bad that he pushed his way into the shower and then tried climbing onto the bed.
Now as you may be chuckling, it’s actually really sad to see him suffering so bad from the anxiety of the impending storm. No amount of petting or hugging or soothing words could settle Jake down. Only one thing helps him…
His ThunderShirt. Forgive me if this seems like a promotion, but it really works (and I receive no kickbacks for saying so, hahaha!) The website says that it…
“Applies gentle, constant pressure, similar to swaddling an infant.”
In the post ★ Thought for the Day – Annihilating Anxiety ★, I shared Philippians 4:6-7 (NASB) which says:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
In the post, we talked about how if we go to God with our anxieties, He WILL be help us through anything!! A common misconception of Christianity is that once you give your life over to God, and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, everything in your life should be sunshine and roses! BUT THAT SIMPLY IS NOT TRUE! We live in a fallen, broken world in which God-fearing, Jesus believing, Holy Spirit filled Christians lose their jobs, contract cancer, or experience the death of a loved one. However, the Bible offers encouragement throughout the pages which can help us to deal with our worry and fear, which is of course is completely normal to experience as we go through the storms of life. In the post ★ Thought for the Day – Be Strong and Courageous ★, I shared about our daughter heading to Atlanta for a three-day training camp before heading to Eswatini (formally known as Swaziland) and South Africa for a two-month Missions Trip, and the anxiety we were feeling having our first-born child on the other side of the world over 9,000 miles away from us! God spoke to me through Joshua 1:6-9 to “Be strong and courageous” and trust that she would be alright. Well the 2 months came and went, and she arrived safely home from Africa with incredible stories of how God worked in and through her.
Today I would like to unpack the context of the anchor passage of Philippians 4:6-7 because as you have heard me say in the past, context is everything. Like anything, it always come down to a choice.
- Will you CHOOSE to WORRY or TRUST God?
- Will you CHOOSE to TRY TO CONTROL EVERYTHING or LET GO and LET GOD HANDLE IT?
- Will you CHOOSE to LISTEN TO THE LIES OF DEVIL that God is not good, or WILL YOU REMEMBER how He took care of you in the past and BELIEVE that God is faithful?
So, let’s look at the verses that bookend our anchor passage that can help us find where true comfort can be found. Philippians 4:4-5 (NLT) says:
“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.”
That is a tough one, right? To “always be full of joy,” easier said than done, but the way we gain victory is “in the Lord,” not through “white-knuckle” effort on our part. The only think we must do is choose to believe that the Lord is good, that He is for us and not against us, and that He is able to do more than we can ever expect! As we do this, then the need of a “security blanket” to comfort us through the “storms” will not be necessary. Comfort which typically is not a blanket or ThunderShirt but rather something that comes from a bottle, prescription or something altogether illegal. Comfort items that before I came to Christ, I tried to fill the void in my heart but to no avail! Depression, fear, anxiety WILL NEVER BE CURED with another drink, pill or _______ (fill in the blank.) If only I knew the truth of Philippians 4 back then!
Let’s look at the other book end which is Philippians 4:8-9 (NLT) which is the application portion…
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me — everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”
What we focus on is what we will experience. We need to “keep putting into practice” and as we do our faith will be built up and our worry will wither away! It is all about discipline and training ourselves to look to God instead of whatever “blanket” we got to which only covers the problem, it will never fix the root issue! I will close with this truth from Jimmy Evans,
“Fear is expecting the Devil to move. Faith is expecting God to move.”
And in John 16:33 (The Passion Translation) Jesus made this promise…
“And everything I’ve taught you is so that the peace which is in me will be in you and will give you great confidence as you rest in me. For in this unbelieving world you will experience trouble and sorrows, but you must be courageous, for I have conquered the world!””
Through a relationship with Jesus, you can conquer the world!
If you want to develop that relationship, check out these posts:
“The Power of Peace” by Jimmy Evans. He shares a message about the gift and power of God’s peace and how to fight for it in our lives.