“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
Fear is a natural emotion we feel at times, especially when faced with uncertainty. Worry, on the other hand, is when we allow our minds to dwell on difficulties or trouble. It’s normal for us to experience fear in times of uncertainty or when the unknown shakes our lives. Fear, although a natural emotion, can be a powerful and damaging force. Fear causes us to act and react in ways that are contradictory to how God would want us to respond.
Worry is the result of fear in operation. I love what Corrie ten Boom says, “Worry is a cycle of inefficient thoughts whirling around a centre of fear”. In Matthew 6:34, Jesus speaking to his disciples says, “So, don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today”. Then flip over to Luke 12:25. Again, Jesus is speaking and says, “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” I believe Jesus knew that worry not only robs us of our peace and joy, but it allows fear to operate instead of faith. Troubles will come! That is a certainty! Worrying about it won’t add a single MOMENT to our lives! I believe it steals the moment.
There are many scriptures we can rely on during difficult times when fear, worry and anxiety seem to take over. One of them is found in Philippians 4:6-7 – “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.” The apostle Paul knew what it was like to face difficult times – times like we couldn’t even imagine. Yet, he faced them with courage and faith. He knew how easy it could be to focus on the difficulty or the trouble up ahead. Instead, he learned a powerful secret that he shared with the world:
- Don’t worry about anything.
- Pray about everything.
- Tell God what you need.
- Thank God for what HE HAS ALREADY done.
Then, (once you’ve done this), you will experience God’s peace, which surpasses understanding. And, that peace will guard your hearts and minds! Paul wrote that when he was in prison. I don’t know about you, but I have no idea what it’s like to be in prison but I imagine it isn’t great! Paul’s life was full of persecution and trials, he was beaten and shipwrecked, yet he found joy in his present circumstances.
Have you ever experienced that kind of peace? A peace that stills your heart and mind while the storms of life rage? The wonderful news is that you can! And, all it requires is simply choosing to follow Paul’s advice: do not worry, pray about everything, tell God what you need! When you do, you will experience a peace that truly surpasses your human understanding. It’s a peace that will guard your heart and mind through every storm you face! It’s a peace that will truly give you rest!