Saturday, August 23, 2014

God's prescription for defeating worry

Philippians 4:6-7 "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." 

How often do you worry?  Fret?  Lay awake at night?  The above passage is a perfect prescription for combating chronic worry.  The word translated "anxious" puts in mind someone who keeps remembering again and again what they thought they might had missed or didn't do.  It is a soul that is not at rest - but always in constant activity. 

To be concerned and worried are two different things.  Concern is having an attitude of responsibility for things that I should take care of before its too late.  Worry is trying to take responsibility for things whose outcome I really can't control nor know.  The following assertions are the cornerstones of worry: I want to know!  I want to be in control!    Worry tries to accomplish them without consideration of God's Sovereign control. Only He knows all things and only He can control outcomes. (Genesis 50:20; Romans 8:28)

God's prescription for defeating worry
Philippians 4:6-7 gives us the antidote to worry:

1. In everything by prayer.  
This is resigning yourself to God's control and breaking free of the tyranny of the urgent.  When you give everything to God in prayer, it means that you recognize that your strength and your effort requires His insight. Prayer is you opening the windows of your life to let the fresh air of His power to rush in and guide you through.

2. With supplication.  
I heard a preacher one time define supplication as praying the type of prayer that turns you inside out and outside in, resulting in God making you alright.  This is intense prayer.  This is where you do business with God - where He goes from an abstract concept to The Real Person you are relying on for everything. 

3. Thanksgiving.  
A thankless heart will never be in the position to recognize God's answer. Thankfulness enables you to be open to what God is doing and wants to do.  Why?  Because you are thanking Him for what He has done for you already. Thanksgiving in prayer is able to thank God for the provision before it even arrives, being that we are focusing more on His character than the solution for which we are praying.

4. Let your requests be made known to God.  
Get specific.  Get personal.  That is what God wants.  The need is designed by God to drive you to Him.  How often has your prayer life thrived when everything was comfortable?  It is rare.  More often than not, the Christian-walk seeks the God of Glory when times are dark.  Faith reaches higher when the valley grows deeper. 

Now note the promises that result from taking in this prescription:

The peace of God which surpasses all understanding. 
Just to know that God has it all taken care of and that He will never leave you nor forsake you is the greatest comfort. (see Hebrews 13:5,6,8)  Philippians 4:6-7 reinforces this thought with a second promise, namely that His peace will guard your heart nad mind in Christ.  When our mind is racing - we need the peace of God in Christ.  When our heart is heavy - we need the peace of Christ to lift it up.  Take this prescription by faith - and watch your worry be replaced by enduring faith that has peace without end.