I know people who make worrying an Olympic sport. I don’t mean to insult those who worry, but I want those who are habitual worriers to lean in a little closer and listen carefully. Never in the Bible are we told to worry; quite the opposite. Throughout both the Old and New Testaments we are told to “fear not” and “do not worry.” When we are commanded to do something and we do the opposite, we sin.
No doubt none of you worriers consider yourselves a sinner for this reason. I understand that, but just as important as overcoming sin, I want you to realize that worry steals your joy and affects your health. The Apostle Paul was a man greatly persecuted for his faith and in fact he wrote the following words from a Roman jail:
“Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
The Greek word for anxious means “to be pulled in different directions.” It’s like being spiritually drawn and quartered. You can’t eat, concentrate, or sleep when worry dominates your mind.
All the Apostles had great reason to worry. Some had already been killed; all of them would die for their faith. Nevertheless, they overcame their fears by letting go and letting God, to use a Christian cliché. Cliché or not, it is true that if we will submit our cares to God, He will give us rest. Why? It is because He loves us and wants the best for us. We just have to admit that we can’t handle every situation and give God control:
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7)
So how do we humble ourselves and submit to God when we are concerned about things? Paul’s letter explains it clearly. When we pray, we are talking to God. Paul urges to take everything to God so that we will “be anxious for nothing.”
We are not just to pray to God, but we are also told share our problems with Him. That is what the word supplication means; we take our needs to the Lord. When we do approach the throne of God, we don’t do so in self-pity and a “woe is me” attitude. Paul says we are to do so with thanksgiving. We are to thank God for the right to come before Him because of the blood of Jesus Christ.
It may seem difficult to come to God with a thankful heart and to face the cares of this world with thanksgiving, and it is. It is not a natural response for us to have an attitude of gratitude when things aren’t going good. However, this is what is expected of the Christian and we are to practice such thanksgiving, always:
“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:17)
If you are still not convinced, then understand when you give into fear and worry, you are allowing your joy to be stolen right out from under you. You are submitting either way; you either submit to God and cast your cares upon Him, or you submit to Satan and allow him to steal your joy. Warren Wiersbe explains:
“From the spiritual point of view, worry is wrong thinking (the mind) and wrong feeling (the heart) about circumstances, people, and things. Worry is the greatest thief of joy. It is not enough for us, however, to tell ourselves to ‘quit worrying’ because that will never capture the thief. Worry is an ‘inside job,’ and it takes more than good intentions to get the victory. The antidote to worry is a secure mind.”
Wiersbe goes on to write that the antidote is found in Philippians 4:6-7. Go back and read our passage for today. What does it say the outcome is? Paul promises that the “peace of God will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” This is not the “peace from God;” it is the “peace of God.” It is God’s peace; a type of peace we cannot fathom in our human minds. Nevertheless, it is the antidote to a life of worry.
It is available to every person who has asked Jesus Christ to be his or her Lord or Savior.
Do you want the peace of God in your life?
Do you know the Prince of Peace?
Go to Jesus now and give your life to Him.
And then give your worries to Him…
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Copyright © 2016 David Jeffers