“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT)
Some folks call it worry. Others call it fear or anxiety or stress. Still others call it concern. Regardless of the name we give it, it leaves us in a troubled state of heart and mind. It keeps us awake at night, turns our stomach into a knot, and robs us of peace and joy.
Worry—or whatever the label—is not a burden Jesus wants us to carry. He created us for an abundant life (not necessarily an easy life), and it’s impossible to live that abundant life if worry weighs us down. And so, if we ever hope to move beyond it, we need to understand the root cause and the cure.
In few words, the root cause is wrong thinking about God—either He doesn’t care about us or He doesn’t have the power to do anything about our problems. We can slip into that mentality without even realizing it. That’s when worry assumes control over our minds.
So what’s the cure?
- Acknowledge worry as wrong thinking about who God is.
The truth is—our problems neither take Him by surprise nor are they too big to baffle Him. He who created the universe and calls the stars by name is more than able to address our concerns. Do we trust Him to do so? Do we trust Him to do so even when His answer to our cries doesn’t look at all what we think it should look like?
- Pray about everything.
Worry accomplishes nothing but negative side effects. Why invest energy and time in something that hurts us? Prayer, on the other hand, changes everything. Sometimes it changes our circumstances; always it changes our perspective about them, and we’re better off for it.
- Thank God for what He has done.
Thanksgiving works like therapy against worry and its ill effects. Expressing gratitude to the Lord for His faithfulness moves our focus from our problems to His sufficiency to overcome them.
Years ago I began intentionally thanking God in advance for what He was going to do in answer to my prayers, and I found that doing so replaced worry with a sense of anticipation. My thinking changed from, Oh no! What am I going to do about such-and-such? to I can hardly wait to see what God is going to do about such-and-such.
When we do these things, then God fulfills His promise to give us peace. It’s different from the peace with God we experience when we place our faith in Christ for salvation. It’s the settled state of heart and mind that comes when we choose to believe that God is who He says He is and trust that He’s in control of our circumstances.
Your thoughts? What do you do to overcome worry?
#bgbg2 #devotions #InnerPeace