Anxious for Nothing (Thomas Nelson, 2017)
Max Lucado titles his latest book, based on Philippians 4:4-8, Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World . Pastor Lucado opens with this chilling description of anxiety: “It’s a low-grade fear. An edginess. A dread. A cold wind that won’t stop howling.” In contrast, the apostle Paul advised in Philippians 4:6 that we must “be anxious for nothing.” Since Paul used the present active tense in this verse, he meant to convey an ongoing state. Hence, Paul wanted to address a life of perpetual anxiety (living on high alert). And while we categorize anxiety as an emotion rather than a sin, it can lead to sinful behavior. Thus, Max presents the acronym C. A. L. M. – Celebrate God’s goodness; Ask God for help; Leave your concerns with Him; Meditate on good things.
Therefore, Pastor Lucado stresses, we need less fret, more faith. Because, the author adds, belief always precedes behavior, we need to rejoice in the Lord’s sovereignty instead of rehearsing the world’s chaos. In addition, God’s sovereignty stabilizes your soul. It bids you fight the onslaught of fret with a sword etched with the words but God. For if your mind is full of God, it can’t be full of fear. God’s answer for troubled times remains constant. He occupies the throne in heaven. His grace restores the life guilt sucks out of your soul. Also, grace provides the fertile soil out of which courage sprouts. Essentially, then, you’re presented with tow options: wear your hurt or wear your hope.
Most noteworthy, there’s never a moment in which you face life without God’s help. Consequently, God’s perfect peace is possible in the midst of your perfect storm. As a result, when fear comes at your from all sides, let God speak to you and bestow his perfect peace. Isolation, in contrast, creates a downward cycle of fret. So clutch the presence of God with both hands. Start with Jesus’ wealth, resources, and strength – what you personally possess fails to generate or approach what you truly need. Your good life begins when you change your attitude toward your circumstances irrespective of an actual change in your situation. Even if you lose all, you’ll discover that you really haven’t. God’s been there all along.
In conclusion, Pastor Lucado suggests that you practice thought management – pick what you ponder. To heal from anxiety requires healthy thinking. Satan, the father of lies, knows this. However, while Satan’s the master of deceit, he’s not the master of your mind. Therefore, stockpile your mind with God thoughts to disarm anxiety. Just as Jesus entrusted His anxiety and fear to His heavenly Father in Gethsemane, we follow suit. Our heavenly Father lights our pathway out of the valley of fret. Rather than meditate on the mess, set your eyes on the Lord, anxious for nothing. Max exhorts:
“A new day awaits you, my friend. A new season in which you will worry less and trust more. . . . with reduced fear and enhanced faith. Can you imagine a life in which you are anxious for nothing? God can. And with his help, you will experience it.”