We all go through times when we are so overwhelmed that we don’t even know how to think or what to do. Things come up, decisions have to be made, and you begin to feel anxious and worried. Or maybe you tend to worry about things that you have no control over; the safety of a child or the health of a friend. It’s normal to have concerns about such things, but we need to be careful that we do not cross the line into distrust of our capable God.
When I think of anxiety, a few verses come to mind. First, and perhaps the most well-known, is Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of
God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” This is a hard pill to swallow. It is so easy to read these verses and initially agree whole-heartedly, thinking about how lovely and uncomplicated it sounds. But many times we crumble at the first sign that something is out of our control. Something unexpected happens that “throws us off,” and we become overwhelmed with the situation and throw these verses out the window. I am so often guilty of this.
But God’s Word clearly guides us in how we should approach these situations. We are to first thank God for how He has already blessed us. Sit down and make a thankful list of 10 ways God has blessed you or provided for you. We can thank Him for the sun and the rain, for both the good and the bad, knowing that He is always good and all His ways are good. We can thank Him for who He is – the beautiful characteristics that make up our loving
Father. He is always wise, always good, and best of all He is ALWAYS sovereign and in control. We don’t have to be; He’s got it covered!
Coming to God first with a heart of thankfulness and praise helps us to correctly orient ourselves before Him. As we recognize what kind of God we serve and His wonderful blessings, we can then come to Him humbly with our requests and petitions. We can present our worries to God with open hands, not trying to control the situation but offering it up to His control, fully trusting in His promises and character. In this way, we will have the peace that can only come from God. We find peace as we fully trust in our Savior, knowing that His plans are much better than ours. If we could actually control the situations we face, the outcome would never been as good as the plan that God has for us anyway. With this knowledge we can “Be still and know that He is God” and find great rest in Him.
God is more than capable to handle anything that we might face in our lives. Isaiah 40:28 says: “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.” THIS is the God we serve; the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. A God this big can certainly be trusted to take care of the struggles we face in our little, short lives. Worry and anxiety tend to melt away as we meditate on the greatness of the God we serve, who has everything under control. With this knowledge, we can be as confident as Moses was when he wrote: “The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; This is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will extol Him. The Lord is a warrior; The Lord is His name.”
This is our God, and He is calling us to rest safely in His arm, fully trusting in His strength and plan in every little aspect of our lives.