Are you worried? Anxious? Stressed?
Do your worries keep you up at night?
I’ve got the answer. Well, actually, God has the answer.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:4-6)
And we think. . . “Rejoice?! How can I rejoice when there are so many troubles all around me!?”
But rejoicing is a key to that slippery thing called peace.
If you read through the Apostle Paul’s letters, you’ll find that he constantly reminds the people to rejoice. He even says, “I don’t mind repeating myself.” (my paraphrase, Philippians 3:1) It’s just that important.
Paul promises that rejoicing will bring God’s peace
But you and I can’t force this peace. We can’t make it happen in us. It only comes with the presence of Jesus– Holy Spirit filling our anxious places pushing out the drama of anxiety and leaving peace behind. And that only comes when we trust Him.
Anxiety and worry always involve the future. We lie in bed staring into the darkness fearful of scenarios that never come.
But God promises peace that goes beyond our understanding.
I’ve only experienced the unfathomable peace a handful of times in my life, but one of the most memorable was when doctors were concerned that my unborn baby was Down-Syndrome. After two weeks of anxiety and fear and drama the thought came, “This baby will be a blessing no matter what.”
I remember saying it out loud as I drove down the highway.
Peace like I’ve never known flooded my car and my heart and mind. It was thick and tangible.
I was at the end of myself. I couldn’t fix the problem. I couldn’t change it. Looking back I now see I was given a choice: to fear or to trust. It’s a choice all of us are given.
The peace I finally experienced wasn’t because I trusted my baby would be healthy–that God makes everything happy and fixes every problem.
I experienced peace when I trusted His goodness.
By His grace I trusted that He had something good for me even if the results were not what I desperately hoped.
I really don’t think I came up with the thought, “My baby will be a blessing no matter what.” I believe God placed that thought in my mind as I petitioned for His help. I was desperate for His peace.
The anxiety was broken when I chose to believe His goodness and spoke my trust out loud.
If you are struggling with worry, try what Paul prescribes for peace in Philippians 4:6,7:
- Rejoice in the Lord always. (Good times and bad, rejoice in who He is and His goodness) v. 4
- Be kind to everyone around you. Try to think the best of everyone. v. 5
- Believe that Jesus is near you even when you can’t feel Him. (Go watch a sunrise or sunset). v. 5
- Pray. Give God all your worries. (It helps me to deposit my worries in a prayer journal.) v. 6
- Be thankful. v.6
If you have trouble sleeping because of the worries:
1. Make your bedroom a device free room. No television, computer, smart-phone, or i-pad.
2. Deposit your worries in a journal, and ask God to give you a Bible verse to write down or simply copy Philippians 4:6,7.
3. Close your journal and lay it down on your bedside table and turn out the light.
4. Thank Him for taking care of all your worries.
5. Turn away from the journal.
And go to sleep.
What do you worry about?
Deposit your worries in a comment, and I will join you in prayer for your peace. If you try these steps, share your experience on our Fellowship Facebook page!
Here’s five awesome scriptures to journal and a prayer when you need peace. . .
Jesus loves you,