Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Worry Doesn’t Help, So Why Waste My Time?
In review of Philippians 4:6 it says, “Do not be anxious about anything” (NIV).
Today’s verse comes from Philippians 4:6-7. In it Paul tells me to not worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what I need, and thank him for all he has done. Paul tells me if I do, then I'll experience God's peace, which exceeds anything I can understand. His peace will guard my heart and mind as I live in Christ Jesus.
Is it possible to never worry about anything? It seems like an impossibility; as I seem to always have worries in my job, my family, what's going on around me. Paul tells me in this passage that If I want to worry less, then I should pray more. Whenever I start to worry, it should be my key to stop and pray instead. God will provide his peace.
God's peace is different from the world's peace. True peace is not found in positive thinking, in absence of conflict, or in good feelings. It comes from knowing that God is in control. My citizenship in Christ's Kingdom is sure, my destiny is set, and I have victory over sin. I need to let God's peace guard my heart against anxiety.
Worry will kill my joy and cause me stress. I even tend to expect the worst in life. Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental illness in the United States. What I’m learning is that worry isn’t just a mental issue. It’s a spiritual one. It’s assuming a responsibility that God never intended for me to have. It’s me playing God and trying to control the uncontrollable.
I’m reminded of a scientific study on worry that discovered:
. 40% of our worries never happen
. 30% of our worries concern the past
. 12% of our worries are needless worries about our health
. 10% of our worries are insignificant or petty concerns
. 8% of our worries are really legitimate concerns
Worry in reality is worthless. It can’t change the past or control the future. It only messes me up right now. It’s an incredible waste of energy. It’s “stewing without doing.” When I worry about things, they get bigger and bigger.
The Bible tells me, “Do not worry about anything” (Philippians 4:6 NCV). And it seems to be one of the hardest commands to obey. It’s even more countercultural when you consider where Paul was when he wrote it. He was sitting in a prison waiting for the emperor to execute him.
Worry is something I’ve learned to do. I had to practice worry to get good at it. So If it is learned, it can also be unlearned.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:34, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (NIV). Jesus gives me the ultimate antidote to worry. And it’s to “Live one day at a time, for God will take care of tomorrow.”
Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God
What this means to me:
I shouldn't become worried about things that are going on around me or in my life. Instead I should take them all in prayer to God asking him for what I need, but always asking him with a thankful heart
In summary, I'm not to worry about anything, instead, I'm to pray about everything. Tell God what I need, and thank him for all that he has done. I will get his peace, which is different than the world's peace. It's a peace from knowing that God is in control. I need to let God's kind of peace guard my heart against anxiety. If I worry, it's me assuming God's responsibility, with me trying to control the uncontrollable. Jesus tells me to live one day at a time, for God will take care of my tomorrows.
As I consider this verse today, I realize that I may not always consciously recognize that I worry, but it is there. As I write this, I’m seeing an issue (via my email) occur at work and I’m have worry and concern that I can mobilize my team to find an answer, all this while I’m supposed to be on vacation. I will use this as a practical example, to instead of worry, go to God in prayer. I will ask him for advice, then take the what I feel he provides as the best course of action and do it. I will then thank God for what he has provided and will provide. I will let God care of what happens. I pray this morning Father for safe transportation and a good time with family and friends this next couple of day. Let me heart be filled with your peace and your taking care of the details. I pray this in your Son Jesus name, amen!
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