Worry can cause us to forfeit peace with God. The way to bring peace to a troubled heart is to focus on God’s promises. TRUST HIM to do what He says. Jeremiah 17: 7-8 says, “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried about long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”
Don’t worry about details beyond your control. Noah didn’t worry about gathering up the animals for the Ark. God took care of the details of that job while Noah did what God commanded, which was building the boat. Often we do just the opposite of Noah. We worry about details that we have no control over while neglecting other areas that are under our control. These areas may include:
Like Noah, we need to concentrate on what God has given us to do and leave the rest up to God. In many cases, that means focusing on improving ourselves and trusting God to work on the other person.
In the book of Proverbs 20: 24, the Word reads “The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?”
We are often confused by the events around us. Some things we will never understand until years later when we look back and see how God was working. We don’t need to worry if we don’t understand everything as it happens. Even if His timing and design are not clear to us, we should trust that God knows what He is doing. Proverbs 3: 5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
Worrying can reveal a lack of faith in God’s control. Anger, rage, and losing our temper are very destructive emotions. They reveal a lack of faith that God loves us and is in control. We should not worry. Instead, we should trust in God. Romans 8: 28 says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.”
When we dwell on our problems, we will become anxious and angry. But when we focus on God and His goodness, we will find peace.
Some time ago I was fighting a custody battle with my former wife. In the end, I lost. Initially I was devastated. The devil was on my shoulder telling me to do this and that, which were very evil things. After speaking to some brothers in Christ, I would receive temporary peace. Almost as soon as they would leave, the enemy would come back causing anxiety and tempting me to do evil. After a couple of days I prayed a prayer to the Lord that went something like this, “Lord, I don’t know what you have planned for my life, but I know they are plans for good. If I do anything, I very well may mess up Your plans. I TRUST YOU with all areas of my life. And so while I wait for you to reveal your plans for me, I ask you Lord to GIVE ME PEACE.” And suddenly it was like warm honey was being poured over my head, but it wasn’t warm honey. It ran from the top of my head down to the bottom of my feet. It was God’s peace and I instantly felt the most incredible peace in my life! Thank you Lord! All bitterness, resentment, and fear were gone. It was the most wonderful thing I have ever experienced! God will doing amazing things in our lives if we quit worrying and trust Him.
Sometimes the enemy tempts me to worry about my business. You see, Satan knows what I plan to do for God’s Kingdom with the proceeds of my business. He discourages me around every corner and he often uses people I love to try to plant a seed of doubt in my mind. However, I have not wavered. I stand on the promises of God instead of doubting and worrying.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
In the book of Psalm 37: 23-24, the Word reads, “The Lord directs the steps of the Godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.”
It seems like it would be impossible to worry when we think of those verses. If God holds us by the hand, then why worry? God is delighted when we follow Him, trust Him, and try to do His will. If we would like to have God direct our way, then let’s seek his advice before we step out.
In the book of Matthew 6: 25-33, Jesus said, “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? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautiful as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? So don’t worry about these things saying, ’What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts if unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
Jesus tells us not to worry about those needs God promises to supply.
- Damage our health
- Disrupt our productivity
- Negatively affect the way we treat others
- Reduce our ability to trust God.
The last part of these verses is Matthew 6: 34 where Jesus says, “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s troubles are enough for today.” Planning for tomorrow is time well spent; worrying about tomorrow is time wasted. Careful planning is thinking ahead about goals, steps, schedules, and trusting God’s guidance. When done well, planning can help alleviate worry.
Working and planning responsibly is good. Dwelling on all the ways our planning could go wrong is bad. Worrying is pointless and foolish because God promises to meet all our real needs(verse 33), but not necessarily all our desires.
It’s alright to be concerned; however, worry immobilizes us whereas concern moves us to action. Those who worry tend to be consumed by fear and find it difficult to trust God. They let their plans interfere with their relationship with God. Don’t let worries about tomorrow affect your relationship with God today.
In the book of Philippians 4: 6, the Word reads, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done.”
Can you imagine never worrying about anything? Paul tells us to turn our worries into prayers. Do you want to worry less brothers and sisters? THEN PRAY MORE! Whenever we start to worry, we should stop & pray.
Philippians 4: 7 reads, “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.”
God’s peace is different from the world’s peace. True peace is not found in positive thinking, in absence of conflict, or in good feelings. It comes from KNOWING that God is in control. Let God’s peace guard your heart against anxiety.
Philippians 4: 8 reads, “And now dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
What we put into our mind determines what comes out as words and actions. Paul tells us to program our minds with thoughts that are pure, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and worthy of praise. Let’s examine what we are putting into our minds through television, books, conversations with others, movies, and magazines. Let’s replace harmful input with wholesome material. Above all, let’s READ GOD’S WORD and pray. Ask God to help you focus your mind on what is good and pure.
I wasn’t planning to mention verse nine initially, but it fits so well with the other three verses from Philippians. Philippians 4: 9 reads, “Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me – everything you heard from me and saw me doing.”
It’s not enough to hear the Word of God or even know it well. WE MUST PUT IT INTO PRACTICE! How easy it is to listen to a sermon and forget what the preacher said. How easy it is to read the Bible and not think about how to live differently. How easy it is to debate what a passage means and not live out that meaning. Exposure to God’s Word is not enough. It must lead to obedience.
James 1: 22-25 reads, “But don’t just listen to God’s Word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the Word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in the mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.”
In the book of John 14: 27, Jesus said “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” The end result of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives is deep and lasting peace. Unlike worldly peace that is usually defined as the absence of conflict, this peace is confident assurance in any circumstance. Sin, fear, uncertainty, doubt, and numerous other forces are at war within us. The peace of God moves into our hearts and lives to restrain these antagonistic forces and offers comfort in place of conflict. Jesus says he will give us that peace if we are willing to accept it from Him. If your life is full of stress and worry, allow the Holy Spirit to fill you with Christ’s peace.
God Bless You All