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Friday, May 18, 2018

Four Steps to Help You Stop Worrying

In review of 1 Peter 5:7 it says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you” (NLT).

Today’s verse comes from 1 Peter 5:1-13 where Peter gives me instructions for the shepherding of God's people in the midst of suffering. He tells me to care for the flock that God has entrusted me. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly, not for what I will get out of it, but because I am eager to serve God. Don't lord it over the people assigned to my are, but lead them by my own good example. When the Great Shepherd appears, I will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor. In the same way accept the authority of the elders. And dress myself in humility as I relate to others, for "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." So I am to humble myself under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift me up in honor. Give all my worries and cares to God, for he cares about me.

Furthermore he tells me to stay alert! Watch out for my great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in my faith. Keep in mind that all family of believers all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering as myself.

In his kindness God called me to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after I have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen me, and he will place me on a firm foundation. All power to him forever!

As a leader and follower of Christ I carry great responsibility, and as such God expects me to be a good example. I am to "care for the flock," exactly what Jesus had told Peter to do. In reality real authority is based on service, not power.

Peter describes several characteristics of good leaders. (1) They realize they are caring for God's flock, not their own; (2) they lead out of eagerness to serve, not out of obligation; (3) they are concerned for what they can give, not for what they can get; (4) they lead by example, not force. My leadership should be in line with these characteristics.

The Great Shepherd is Jesus Christ. This refers to his second coming, when he will judge all people and give rewards to his faithful followers.

Pride often keeps me from understanding or listening to others. I need to follow leadership myself and lead by example. I need to be humble enough to admit that I can learn from others.
I can often worry about my position and status, hoping to get proper recognition for what I do. Peter reminds me that God's recognition counts more than human praise. God is able and willing to bless us according to his timing. I need to humbly obey God regardless of present circumstances, and in his good time, either in this life or in the next, he will honor me.

Carrying my worries, stresses, and daily struggles by myself show that I have not trusted God fully with my life. It takes humility, to recognize that God cares, to admit my need, and to let others in God's family help me. Sometimes I think that struggles caused by my own sin and foolishness are not God's concern. But when I turn to Go in repentance, he will bear the weight even of those struggles. Letting God have my anxieties calls for action, not passivity. Don't submit to circumstances but to the Lord, who controls circumstances.

So it will take more than willpower to stop worrying. I already know this, because I’ve already tried it. I’ve thought, “I shouldn’t worry about this,” yet I just keep on worrying about it.

It’s going to take more than my willpower to stop worrying. It takes four things:

1. I need to get to know God. Jesus says in Matthew 6:32, “People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things” (The Message). If I don’t have a relationship with God, I have every reason to worry. I’ve got to get to know God! As a believer, I have a heavenly Father who has promised to take care of me. I am God’s child, and children get special privileges. When I worry, God says, “You’re my child. Why are you acting like an orphan?”

2. I have to put God first in every area of my life. Matthew 6:31-33 says, “Don’t worry at all about having enough food and clothing. . . . Your heavenly Father already knows perfectly well that you need them, and he will give them to you if you give him first place in your life and live as he wants you to” (TLB). Anytime I take God out of the center of my life and put anything else there, no matter how good it is, I’m going to worry.

3. I have to live one day at a time. The Bible says, “So don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will have its own worries. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34 NCV). If I’m worrying about tomorrow, I can’t enjoy today. I miss today’s blessings. It’s okay to plan for tomorrow, but I have to live for today. Also, when I’m always worried about tomorrow, the future gets overwhelming. But God will give me the grace and strength I need when you get there. Right now, I only need enough power for today.

4. I have to trust God to care. “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7 NLT). How do you do this? One way is to memorize God’s promises in the Bible. They’re like an insurance policy for believers. When I know something’s covered, I don’t worry about it anymore. Another way is to pray. If I prayed as much as I worried, I’d have a lot less to worry about.

The result of taking these four steps, would be incredible peace of mind: “I will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand” (Philippians 4:7 TLB).

Bottom Line:
God cares, so give your worries and cares to Him.

What this means to me:
I need to give the things and circumstances that concern me or cause me to worry over to God. For he cares about me and will guide me through it when I trust him with it.

In summary, I am to care for the flock God has entrusted me with. I need to do so willingly, and not for what I would get out of it, but because I'm eager to serve. When I lead, do it by my own good example. Authority is based on service, not on power. Remember the characteristics of a good leader, realize that I'm caring for what God has entrusted me, lead out of an eagerness to serve, not be concerned about what I can get, but for what I can give, and lead by example. Be careful of pride for it keeps me from understanding or listening to others. Be humble enough to admit that I can learn from others. I should look for my recognition God and not others. Humbly obey God regardless of my present circumstances. So I Humble myself under the mighty power of God, letting him lift me up in his timing, not mine. Give all of my worries and concerns to him, for he cares about me. And lastly stay alert, for the enemy is looking to take me down. Stand firm in my faith.

This morning I pray: “Dear Father, I admit that I often forget that you are with me. I often forget what you’re like. Would you please forgive me for doing that? I need to get to know you better. I need to get to know your Word and your promises better. Help me to put you first in every area of my life. Help me to live one day at a time. Help me to not worry about tomorrow but instead focus on what you’re doing in my life right now. I want to trust in your promise to take care of every one of my needs; financial, relational, physical, social, spiritual, and emotional. Help me to trust you more and worry less. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.”