Sunday, November 23, 2008

worry not...

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

During our lives there are always moments of the unknown. There are always times we are uncertain about what life has in store for us. The three years with the Air Force certainly lead to MANY times of frustration; times of wondering 'what next'? I feel that in those three years, I grew in my ability to handle times of stress with grace. Or at least with more grace than I had in the past. Having returned to the States has not alleviated the 'unknown'; uncertainty is still a major part of our day to day life. Do I handle it as I should? Some times. Do I need to do better? Every day! Not knowing what our job situation will be when the savings account runs out certainly has caused me to worry about our future. It is easy to say, "I have given it to God." Actually allowing God to work in our lives in His time is difficult--especially for someone that likes to have things in control to be in control of all things. My worry manifests itself in impatience with my family, cynicism with the world, and a lack of desire to be productive in any aspect of my life. I become overwhelmed with the 'worry' and I lose control of the day to day aspects of life.

WORRY, in Greek, is defined as having a divided mind. Solomon wrote that, "an anxious heart weighs a man down. We are commanded by God to be anxious for nothing. We are to rely on Him for our needs. God has promised to take care of our needs. When we worry, we are telling God that we do not have faith in what He has promised us. We are sinning.

There are areas of our lives that we should have legitimate concerns about-our health, our souls, our children, our eternal salvation. We can be concerned, but we are commanded to not worry.

What is the difference between concern and worry?

Concern focuses on legitimate responsibilities and probable difficulties and produces meaningful action.

Worry focuses on improbable things and negative self talk that produces no meaningful outcome. Worry is based on fear NOT fact.

Fear is the opposite of faith. It s a symptom of a lack of faith. It is a failure to trust in God. Worry is the prayer to the wrong God.

Worry tells us that 'I am on my own.", but God tells us in Hebrews 13:5 ...I will never desert you, nor will I forsake you.

Worry shows our unbelief, but Romans 8:28 states: And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Worry proclaims, "I can't" but Philippians 4:13 assures us that all things are possible through Christ. {I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.}

Worry is assuming a responsibility God never intended us to have. By worrying, we are telling God that WE are in control; that we do not trust Him or need Him. We are turning our back on Him.

There will always be unknowns in our lives. There will always be times of uncertainty. Life is unpredictable. Bad things happen to good people. As Christians, we have the blessing of a heavenly Father that is always there to listen to our fears and desires. God has promised never to forsake us. He will bear our burdens if only we ask.

We must do OUR part.

We have to maintain our faith and trust in God.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." {Deuteronomy 31:6}

We have to control our thoughts.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. {Philippians 4:8}

We must take meaningful action.
The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. {Philippians 4:9}

We must turn to God daily in prayer.
Hear my prayer, O LORD! And let my cry for help come to You. {Psalm 102:1}

We must give God our concerns.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. {John 14:27}

We must remember....
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. {Matthew 6:24}

We I must remember that I am nothing without God.
That I need Him.