I am a first class worrier descended from a long line of first class worriers. Seriously, you don’t ever need to worry about anything, ever again, because the women in my family have you covered. We worry enough for everybody and their dog.
By the way, this is not something of which I am proud. If you’ve ever thought the preacher was preaching directly at you, please know that he preaches at his wife, too. And no, he actually doesn’t do that on purpose, so if the Holy Spirit elbows you in the side during a sermon, credit God’s Word as useful for teaching and pay attention! (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
So when Jay started his sermon on Philippians 4:6-7, I knew I had to listen up! I’ve always claimed I try NOT to worry but I just can’t help it. Now my excuses are worthless because Jay offered an anti-worry plan drawn from these verses.
How NOT to Worry
Don’t BE Anxious.
We may FEEL anxious when a situation is looming or bad news arrives, but we shouldn’t dwell there. We must move beyond the feeling to the truth of God’s Word and…
…Remember to Pray.
When we pray, we tap into God’s power. We acknowledge His control. We lean on His strength. We realize we are not alone.
While we are praying, we should give thanks for the good things in our lives. Right this minute I can be thankful for the beautiful weather, a fresh cup of coffee, working electricity, and a fridge full of food, and that’s just a start. Why are you giving thanks today?
Enjoy God’s Peace.
These verses contain a promise! When we are not anxious and instead take our concerns to the Lord, thanking Him for His care, we are given His peace. It’s amazing to speak to someone who, in the middle of a horrible situation, simply says, “I have peace about it.” When I am frazzled that is the calm confidence that I crave. And the Bible says I can have it…if I just quit running on the hamster wheel of worry and give it to God!
Winning Over Worry
Are God’s promises true? Do we believe what is written in the Bible? If so, we…no, I must win over worry.
Stepping away from the useless busy-ness of worry allows us (me!) to think more clearly about the situation, determine if we can realistically take action, and figure out an appropriate next step. Sometimes the answer is that there is really nothing we can do. In those cases, worry only robs us of peace and energy we might spend doing something useful, like praying or serving.
“Peace is found when faith wins over worry.”
– Jay Russell preaching on Philippians 4:6-7
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