The Antidote To Apprehension

"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
Apprehension is anxiety and fear all rolled into one. 

Anxiety is already bad on its own. But if you couple it with fear, then worse things are bound to happen.

Feeling somewhat apprehensive is normal especially during times like these. The future is uncertain. No one knows when exactly will this COVID-19 pandemic will end. 

What will happen to my finances? What about my children's education? What about my health? Will my maintenance medicines still be available a month from now? When is this all going to end?

Perhaps you were already getting nervous just by reading the above paragraph. 

But we should always hang on to the promise of Jesus when He said, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27)

Jesus said those encouraging words during one of His toughest moments while here on earth, the eve of His crucifixion. Jesus was not called the Prince of Peace for nothing, so we can trust Him.

There are three ways to combat apprehension. According to Philippians 4:6-7, they are as follows: 

1. Recognize apprehension as sin.

Verse 6 says "do not be anxious about anything." We should realize that it was not a suggestion, but a command. It is something God wants us to do.

In Matthew chapter 6, Jesus Himself asserted that worrying comes from a lack of faith in God. He said anxiety arises when you lose focus on God and focus on the material things of this world.

Of course, this is easier said than done. But we have to try not to fall into fear and anxiety as much as we can. We have to trust God that He is always in control. 

If we constantly make excuses that "I'm just a man" or "anyone would feel worried in these conditions", then we will never be able to overcome apprehension.

To clarify, I'm not saying that you should be indifferent or irresponsible and not care about what is going to happen in the future at all.

There is a balance to this as Christ does not talk about apathy. He wants us to take care of ourselves and care about other people as well.

In 1 Corinthians 12:25, the Apostle Paul said "there should be no division in the body (of Christ), but that its parts should have equal concern for each other." 

Proper care and concern is different from apprehension. Because, at its root, apprehension comes from being egocentric or self-centered.

2. Pray with a thankful heart always.

Praying with a thankful heart allows us to fight our fears and anxieties away. It is impossible to feel thankful and apprehensive at the same time.

In other words, we should be intentional or deliberate when it comes to being thankful when approaching God in prayer.

Verse 6 says that we can request anything from God. But we should do it with a thankful spirit, trusting Him and His purpose in the situation.

One practical way to shift into a thankful heart is to remember what God has done in your life in the past. Then realize He is sovereign. Then trust in His sufficiency, believing God will see us through even if we don't understand how He is going to do it.

3. Receive God's unparalleled peace every time you pray. 

God offers us peace of mind every time we pray. It is up to us, however, if we want to receive it or not.

Therefore, we should choose to receive God's peace every time we approach Him in prayer.

Verse 7 says the peace of God transcends all understanding, even your own. It is above and beyond our intellectual capacities and sense of reason. It is humanly inexplicable. 

But praise our Lord Jesus Christ that this kind of peace is real. It was experienced by many people in the past, and is being experienced by God's people in this present day and age.

Simply realizing this will guard our hearts and minds from apprehension. 

Final Words

God is Almighty. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-present. We can trust Him.

Are you experiencing God's peace amidst these uncertain and challenging times? 

Is your focus on Him or on your selfish interests? Have you tried coming to Him in thankful prayer? Have you intentionally received the "peace that passeth all understanding" He generously offers?

If not, then you should examine yourself. I believe, by God's grace, you would know what to do.