Do you know someone that is a worrier? Maybe your are! I’m somewhere in the middle of the road. I don’t worry much except when I feel there is a real danger or problem that is far beyond my fixing. For many people, I think worry is just a very bad habit. It can be a “default setting” in life! I’m sure you know that worry is a useless and a very negative reaction to any situation! Worry never changes anything for good, it turns our emotions on end and cannot solve any problem. Let’s look at what God says about worry and how to handle it!
DON’T BE ANXIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING, BUT IN EVERYTHING BY PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION WITH THANKSGIVING LET YOUR REQUESTS BE KNOW TO GOD.
AND THE PEACE OF GOD WHICH SURPASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING WILL GUARD YOUR HEART AND MIND IN CHRIST JESUS. Philipians 4:6,7
Sounds so easy, doesn’t it! I know that it is often hard to turn off our worry switch! But, if we do what God commands us to do when we worry we will be a whole lot better off! Most of the time I need to obey God in spite of how I am feeling! Feelings, especially when things are troubling us, can be deceptive and destructive and lead us into more things to worry about! Worry is a deep, dark pit we dig ourselves deeper and deeper into.
Jesus makes the point for the uselessness of worrying…
CAN ANY OF YOU BY WORRYING ADD A SINGLE HOUR TO YOUR LIFE? Matthew 6:27
Worry is a no good, very bad, rotten way to react and live and handle things! Let’s just admit it and start there! God knows exactly what worry is and how it affects us and that is why He tells us not to worry. It’s not good for us!
Okay, then how do we stop worrying? Let’s pull Philippians 4:6,7 (above) apart and look at how God tells us to handle worry.
DO NOT BE ANXIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING. I love the Greek meaning in this verse. It gives us a real, honest, God-perspective look at worry. The word “anxious” means…distracted, drawn in opposite directions. It means to be pulled apart in opposite directions by the force of sinful anxiety, which is worry! The word ANYTHING is really the word “nothing”. And the Greek word is very very emphatic… not one, nothing, not a possibility, not even one!
Get the picture? God says, DON’T DO IT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!!!! Sometimes just reminding ourselves not to worry can really go a long way in stopping this negative behavior.
Now that we know that God does not want us to worry we need to ask ourselves what should we do when we are troubled? Psychologists say that to really brake a bad habit we need to replace it with another behavior… a positive behavior. And that is exactly what God tells us to do.
BUT IN EVERYTHING… now this is a very very interesting Greek word. It means the whole, total, every part, every kind, all. It is a word that looks at the individual parts of a whole. God says IN EVERYTHING… every little, bitty part… in every part of every circumstance.
Now let’s skip ahead in the verse to find… what “EVERYTHING”? IN EVERYTHING MAKE YOUR REQUEST KNOW TO GOD. So, every little bitty part of what you are worrying about should be taken to God. Tell Him EVERYTHING! The words KNOWN TO GOD is to declare something. If you are saying, “God already knows so why do I have to declare it to Him”? Great question!!! God wants us to know and declare that we need His help. He wants us to come to the only Sovereign One that can actually do something about our troubles. We need to exchange our worry out for talking it through with our Father!
But God want us to come to talk to Him in a very special way. In a way that takes the focus off of our worries and give our attention to God and Who He is! God wants us to come to Him in PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION WITH THANKSGIVING.
PRAYER is earnestly and truthfully and reverently talking to God. That’s it! SUPPLICATION is the idea of being in need and coming to someone with a heat-felt petition rising out of a deep, personal need. I think that wording is so spot on!!!! God knows us and He knows that we worry. He knows we have deep needs… he knows our deepest ones! He wants us to talk them over with Him! Ask Him what to do. He wants us to come freely to Him with THANKSGIVING… grateful for His overflowing grace. He want us to know that we have unmerited favor from Him and because of that favor, no matter the circumstances, we are more than bless and should be thankful!
When we look at our eternal well being and stack it up against our worry how can we not be grateful!!!! And a grateful heart will trust God!
It’s important to say right here that God is not a Genie that grants wishes, or if we do things His way that we will get what we want. God is Sovereign and Eternal and Perfect. He will do what is good for us, even if it is not what we want.
But what God promises when we come to Him is so much bigger and amazing than getting our own way!
God promises to give us PEACE. AND THE PEACE OF GOD WHICH SURPASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING…
The word PEACE is one of my very favorite God-words!!! God’s PEACE carries with it the idea of all the parts, all the loose ends being tied up. Just the opposite of the Greek definition of worry above!
The true meaning of PEACE is WHOLENESS. Wholeness in every aspect. Everything that is you and about you is whole and good and perfect! What a big promise!!! What a tall order for God to fill! But He is more than up to the task! If you really go to God with your troubles and tell Him earnestly about them and pour out your deep need and really think on how God has shown you grace and give Him thanks, then He will give you a wholeness about your trouble that will SURPASS ALL UNDERSTANDING. God will give you a Shalom that is so far above and beyond any human intellect to comprehend or understand!
Believe this. It is true. I have been the recipient of this peace many times.
This above and beyond wholeness will GUARD YOUR HEART AND MIND. Now this is an amazing thought. The word GUARD means to keep military or sentinel guard. God’s PEACE will actively do whatever it take, both offensively and defensively to protect your mind, will, emotion and intellect. In other words, YOUR HEART. God’s peace will protect your from worry, negative thoughts, and the bad habit of giving worry a stronghold. Just keep on with the PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION WITH THANKSGIVING!
The last part of these verses are by far my favorite… IN CHRIST JESUS. The word IN is such a little word but it has deep and rich and beautiful meaning. What IN really means is in a relationship with. Oh, the blessedness of the thought that we could be in an intimate, eternal and close relationship with the very God of the Universe! It is far too much for me too wrap my head around. But it is TRUE!!!!
God wants all of us to be in a relationship with His only Son. And if we are in a relationship with His Son, then we are also in a relationship with God Himself.
This PEACE from worry is offered to all those who claim and believe that Jesus is their LORD (Owner and Creator) and Savior (the only One to save us from our sin which separates us from God) !!! What a gift. Use it! Let’s be free from the worry that causes us so much wasted time and energy.
God’s PEACE, like a military sentinel, will guard our hearts and minds from worry… if we let Him!
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