Anxiety is the enemy of a peaceful life. People go to great lengths to get rid of stress: travel ads promise that vacations will sweep you away from it; gyms offer to help you “sweat it out”; and popular magazines suggest ways to lessen it by adjusting schedules or habits. The problem is that no one can adequately shift circumstances to achieve total freedom from heartache, burdens, or trouble.
However, we can have unshakeable peace during anxious times. Jesus said to seek peace in Him because He has overcome this troublesome world (John 16:33). The key is to shift our focus from the scary problem onto God, who lovingly provides whatever we need from His limitless resources and power (Ps. 50:10; Rom. 8:11).
Serenity can’t be manufactured—it’s a gift from our heavenly Father. The Holy Spirit produces a sense of calm in believers who seek the Lord’s protection against anxiety (Gal. 5:22). The Greek word translated as guard in today’s passage literally means “to garrison about.” God wraps hearts and minds in peace, effectively safeguarding both against all-consuming worry or fear. Notice that He doesn’t make problems go away—we may still be under pressure or prone to weep, but we’re cushioned against anxiety and surrounded by peace instead.
Today’s verses tell us to pray rather than give in to anxiety. These words are Paul’s orders for doing battle against the stresses and troubles of this world. Prayer keeps your mind and heart garrisoned with peace. Keep trusting in God so that your defenses are strong and anxiety cannot slip in.