It seems there is a lot to be a lot to worry about these days, doesn’t it? Presidential elections. Transgender bathroom laws. The economy.
On top of all of that, I worry about the things in my own personal life. My husband. My kids. Our future. What will happen? Worry can take over in an instant.
Worry is rampant. Worry causes people to act out in emotionally charged ways. Worry causes fears that can make us see things from only our human perspective – and fear is a terrible master to be driven by.
The Bible actually has some pretty specific things to say about worry:
“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to Him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” Matthew 6:25-27
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7
The Bible actually tells us that we are not supposed to worry, that we are to give our worries to God - but we worry and carry our worries anyways. All the time. About everything.
When my life doesn’t line up to how the Bible says I should be living, that’s a major problem.
See, if we’re honest with ourselves, the thing about worry is that it is actually a lack of trust in God. It is the notion that if I think about, scheme or plan enough, I can somehow change the outcome of what will happen. As if I somehow have control of my circumstances or this world I’m living in.
But worry doesn’t actually accomplish ANYTHING. Nothing changes because I have worried about it. People are not saved, choices are not changed, life is not altered because I have given time and energy to my worry.
So what do I do when worry comes? Because we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it will.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
So this is it – the prescription for our worry! Let’s break it down:
Instead of worry, I’m supposed to choose prayer. Thinking is not praying. When my thoughts are filled with worry, I need to turn those thoughts to prayers. Sometimes I literally have to stop myself mid-thought to get worry in check and my prayers back on track! But prayer will focus my heart on the One who holds me, those I love, and my circumstances safely in His capable hands.
I can tell God what I need – He invites us to! But I also need to remember to thank Him for what He has done! Focusing on the goodness of God in our lives changes our perspective. We stop looking at the lack and start looking at the abundance God has already worked – His love, grace, mercy, provision, care. It’s all there we just don’t always see it when we are focused on our worries!
When I do these things – choose prayer over worry, tell God what I need and thank Him for His blessings – THEN I will experience God’s peace! The peace that goes far beyond what I understand. The peace that doesn’t make sense in light of my circumstances or what I see with my human eyes. The peace of God literally protects my heart and mind – the very place where the enemy wants worry to be my focus.
We are a people in desperate need of the peace of God! We can’t worry our way to solutions, to answers – or to peace. Peace of heart and mind comes as we relinquish our imagined control and worries to the God who holds the whole earth in His hands. We can safely trust Him. His perspective of our circumstances changes how I live in them.
Imagine if the world around us saw a church who didn’t panic at presidential candidates or world events – but pointed to the God who controls it all? They would see Jesus in us. Peace in the midst of conflict? That’s what our world is longing for! Let’s be people known by peace, not by worry – and watch the world around us be changed!