“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
According to John Underhill and Jack Lewis from the Bible Study Foundation Illustration Database, an average person’s anxiety is focused on the following things:
- 40% are things that will never happen
- 30% are about the past, which can’t be changed
- 12% are about criticism by others, mostly untrue
- 10% are about health, which gets worse with stress
- 8% are about real problems that can be solved
If you notice on this list, either you can do nothing about a situation, or you can take pro-active steps to solve it. There is absolutely no point to worrying. You can’t add a single hour to your life by stressing out about your circumstances (Matthew 6:27). Allowing your mind to dwell on something that causes you to worry is sin. We must take our thoughts captive. Our wandering minds should not rule us. God should rule us. We must put on the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16).
There is a direct link between prayer and trust in God. Worry is eliminated when we trust God completely. We need to realize that God is in complete control of the universe. In Him all things live and breathe and have their being (Acts 17:28). He holds all the atoms in the universe together. Consider Job. Satan had to ask permission to do anything to him. So God has parameters on exactly what our enemy is able to do in our lives, and it is always for our spiritual growth (Romans 8:28).
So if God is in charge of the entire universe, we can pray to Him. He rules. He can strike dead and give life. He created all things. He has incredible power. Anyone who has met God has fallen on his face in fear and trembling. God rules the universe, and He is our Abba Father. We are to approach Him as His children. He knows how to give good gifts to those who ask (Matthew 7:11) But we must ask. Keep in mind that God wants our sanctification more than anything else, so go ahead and align yourself to that, and all the power in the universe is behind you. If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us, and we know that we have what we asked of Him (I John 5:14-15). It’s true. Align your will to God’s, and all your requests will be granted. God’s timing is perfect as well. Don’t rush God but wait on Him.
Fretting and worrying is when we take matters into our own hands, and we don’t want God’s will. We find ourselves fighting against God. When I stressed about money early in my marriage, I did not believe that God would provide my needs, so I functionally believed He was a liar, since He promises to take care of those things. And did I ever starve? No. I fretted and felt like I was drowning and screamed at my husband, and all that worry was sin. I finally released it to God and had peace, even though we were about to go bankrupt. I felt supernatural peace and had no stress whatsoever when we were going to lose everything. Why? Because God was my rock, and I put my trust in Him. Your circumstances don’t matter. Your circumstances are divinely placed there by God to cause you to grow closer to Him. Yield to God. Inwardly you will have the strength of God Himself as He fills you and causes you to be a rock to other people.
“Fussing always ends in sin. We imagine that a little anxiety and worry are an indication of how really wise we are; it is much more an indication of how really wicked we are. Fretting springs from a determination to get our own way. Our Lord never worried and He was never anxious, because He was not out to realize His own idea; He was out to realize God’s ideas. Fretting is wicked if you are a child of God… All our fret and worry is caused by calculating without God.” (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest)
“Casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” I Peter 5:7Tweet