Anxious at Amazon

Sam Petitfils 

“Do not be anxious about anything, 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 understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

While I have plenty of books on my shelves purchased over a period of decades, I have joined the ranks of digital readers. Amazon’s digital devices include a feature where you can see what portions of the book you’re reading others have highlighted (a feature I find annoying and I always disable it). Recently Amazon released the most highlighted passages of its bestselling books. The most highlighted passage in the Bible was Philippians 4:6-7, the passage quoted above. What does this suggest?

The human soul struggles with the perplexities of life and often comes up short. We set goals and imagine for ourselves an ideal life, then set out to fulfill it. But things happen along the way. With billions of people setting out to fulfill their dreams, we’re bound to run into one another. We label a simple drive to work as “fighting traffic.” We avoid certain people because of previous run-ins. We imagine various possibilities that could spell certain doom, and then our anxieties mount. All of this weighs on the heart.

Now God comes to us with abundant resources to manage the perplexities of life. This passage serves as an invitation to God’s children: Cast your anxieties on the Lord. The passage suggests the content of the prayer could involve some troubling situations. The believer faces tension of one sort or another, but he or she faithfully goes to the right place, God. There at the throne of grace we place the requests that brought us so much anxiety, and entrust our situation to God. Once we trust God enough to place our cares in His good hands, He fills our souls with peace “which surpasses all understanding.”

We cannot wait until the winds die down before we find peace. Such peace carries with it only temporary relief. Jesus refers to such peace as the peace of this world (John 14:27). It does not last, produces no real change, and ends up disappointing. Yet people tend to seek this sort of peace first. But at least some people seek God’s peace, as the Amazon study indicates.

When your cares mount to the point of weighing you down with sadness, do not forget the grand invitation of Philippians 4:6-7. Lay your cares at the feet of Jesus and He will lift you up.

I close with a simple song that carries a powerful message: Give those cares to Jesus.

Give Them All to Jesus

Are you tired of chasing pretty rainbows
Are you tired of spinning round and round
Wrap up all the shattered dreams of your life
At the feet of Jesus lay them down

Give them all
Give them all
Give them all to Jesus

Shattered dreams
Wounded hearts
Broken toys

Give them all
Give them all
Give them all to Jesus
And he will turn your sorrow into joy

He never said you’d only see sunshine
He never said there’d be no rain
He only promised a heart full of singing
About the very things that once caused pain

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