We recently looked at four things that can be hang-ups in our faith – death, guilt, bitterness, and worry. For me, worry is my #1 hang-up and I find it has the ability to rob me of my joy. While today’s verse will probably not be new to you, for me it’s one I need to constantly keep in the forefront of my mind.
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.
Things to think about:
· Worry is the feeling of an impending negative event or loss that we have no control over.
o I will lose my health
o I will lose a loved one
o I will not have the means to support myself and family
· Apparently, it’s pretty common to worry because our verse begins by telling us to not be anxious about anything. We dwell on future events we have no control over and in the process forfeit joy and happiness in the present.
o That’s a terrible trade!
o Moreover, I find the underlying stress of worrying about things makes me grumpy and unpleasant to be around
· Romans 12:2 tells us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
o My mind needs an overhaul. I need to learn to stop focusing on What I have no control over and turn my thoughts to Who has dominion over everything
§ Romans 11:36 - For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever!
§ We’re encouraged to bring everything to God in prayer and the good news is everything is under His control
· There’s another clue in our text that offers a way to refocus my thinking
o …“with thanksgiving…”
o It’s pretty hard to be negative when we have an attitude of gratitude
o I have found in recent days that gratitude and worry have a very difficult time coexisting. Being thankful crowds out anxiety.
· The payoff is what I’m after – Peace
o And not just any peace but a supernatural kind that surpasses all understanding, guarding both my mind and heart
I’m not there yet but as I give to God the things that weigh me down, I do find that His burden is light and it gives me more capacity to stop thinking about me and thereby be able to give more to loving Him and others.