(Scripture version is NLT)
Are you troubled by anxiety? Many people are. Someone once said that “Worry is like a rocking chair. It won’t get you very far, but it will give you something to do.”
Dr. David Jeremiah has pulled together the following facts about worry:
• 40% of the things we worry about, never happen.
• 30% of the things we worry about are related to past matters, which are now beyond our control.
• 12% of our worries have to do with our health, even when we are not actually ill.
• 10% of our worries are about friends and neighbors and are not based on evidence or fact.
• Only about 8% of our worries have some basis in reality; which means, that over 90% of the things we worry about never happen.
I love what the Apostle Paul says about worry and anxiety:
“Don’t worry about anything, instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. 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.” Philippians 4:6-7
When Christians take their anxieties to God in prayer, they discover the peace of God.
Isaiah 26:3 says, “You (Lord) will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you.”
In John 14:27, Jesus promised His followers, “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.”
In John 16:33, Jesus said, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
In Colossians 3:15, the Apostle Paul wrote, “And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And, always be thankful.”
Folks — there is something even better than the peace of God. We are also promised the God of peace. We are assured of His presence, protection, provision and purpose for our lives.
In Romans 15:33, the Apostle Paul wrote, “And now may God, who gives us His peace, be with you all. Amen.”
The writer of the book of Hebrews adds this for our consideration:
“Now may the God of peace — who brought up from the dead our LORD JESUS, the great Shepherd of the sheep and ratified an eternal covenant with His blood — may He equip you with all your need for doing His will.
May He produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ,every good thing that is pleasing to Him. All glory to Him forever and ever! Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21 –Don’t pass over what you just read too quickly. Meditate on it. Digest it.
The Greek word for “anxious” means to have a “mind-divided” between legitimate thoughts and destructive thoughts. The latter will choke out the Word of God and cause believers to abandon truth.
Here is a great word from David in Psalm 55:22 —
“Give your burdens to the LORD, and He will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.”
In Matthew 6:25, 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?”
In one occasion the celebrated Austrian Composer, Franz Joseph Haydn, was in the company of a number of distinguished guests. The conversation turned to the best means of restoring mental energies when exhausted with long and difficult studies. One person said that his approach was to drink a bottle of wine.
Another stated that his solution was to involve himself in the company of others. When Haydn was asked what he would do, he replied that his practice was to retire to his study and engage in prayer. He said that nothing exerted a more happy and efficacious influence on His heart and mind than the power of prayer.
I believe that is what Paul was recommending in Philippians 4:6-7.
I close with the following prayer:
by Richard Chenevix Trench
Lord, what a change within us one short hour
Spent in Thy presence will avail to make!
What heavy burdens from our bosoms take!
What parched grounds refresh as with a shower!
We kneel, and all around us seems to lower;
We rise, and all, the distant and the near,
Stands forth in sunny outline, brave and clear;
We kneel, how weak! we rise, how full of power!
Why, therefore, should we do ourselves this wrong,
Or others—that we are not always strong—
That we are sometimes overborne with care—
That we should ever weak or heartless be,
Anxious or troubled—when with us is prayer,
And joy and strength and courage are with Thee?
Dear friend, cast all of your anxieties on Jesus — 1 Peter 5:7