WINNING OVER WORRY
Few of us are strangers to anxiety. It creeps in over big and little things, gnawing away at our insides. Someone graphically described anxiety as “a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained”
We often feel anxious about our finances: How can we make this month’s bills? How will I be able to fix my aging car if it breaks down? What if I lose my job? How will we put the kids through college? How can we meet our medical bills? How will we ever save enough for retirement? What if the economy fails?
We feel anxious about our health, especially as we grow older: What if I get cancer or Alzheimer’s? What if I’m disabled or have to go into a nursing home? If we’re younger, we may have these same anxieties concerning our aging parents.
We’re anxious about our children: Will they turn out okay? Will they avoid drugs and sexual immorality? Will they be safe in this crime-ridden world? Will they be able to get into college and then get a decent-paying job? Will they marry a godly person and have a happy home? What kind of world will their children have to live in?
The lists could go on and on. Maybe you’re getting anxious just listening to me give different reasons for anxiety!
Jesus promised, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27).
There are three key words in these verses that reveal the theme: Anxious; prayer; and, peace.
* Being anxious is the problem we are told to put off * Prayer is the procedure we are told to practice
* Peace is the product we are promised by God.
1. “Be anxious for nothing.”
The peace of God is like “full coverage” insurance. God’s peace covers every aspect of your life.
If scripture said “be anxious for nothing… except your health”… that would be very telling.
Nothing means… nothing, zip, nada!
2. Practice prayer with thankfulness about every concern.
Those who play musical instruments, sports or any kind of art learn the value of practice.
Sometimes you want to practice and other times you have to force yourself to practice.
The best advice is to schedule a time for practice…prayer. The more you practice, the easier and more natural it will become.
3. We are promised God’s incomparable peace when we pray.
“The peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7).
This is not some psychological peace gained through coping techniques.
This is peace that comes from God who is never subject to anxiety because He is the sovereign, omnipotent Creator and Lord of the universe.
Nothing takes Him by surprise or makes Him bite His nails, wondering how it will turn out.
This is the peace that Jesus promised, “not as the world gives.” It is humanly not explainable. But, praise God, it is real, and every child of God has known it and has known that it comes from God alone, not from psychological insights.
2020 has been a great year to put these principles into practice.