Philippians 4:6- Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (HCSB)
Worry. We worry as children and we worry as adults. Some things we worried about as children now seem trivial, but some worries are the same — we never seem to outgrow the worry about being liked and making new friends! As children, our worries involved our parents. As adults, our worries involve our children. As adults of a certain age, our worries involve both our children and our parents. No one is completely unaffected by worry, but Matthew 6:25-30 lets us know that God had made provisions for His followers, and if God takes such pride in the wildflowers, why do we question that He will take pride in us and do what’s best for us? There are physical consequences for being enslaved to worry, and Jesus is reminding us to not get so preoccupied with the getting that we ignore God’s giving. We can be aware of what we eat and what we wear without worrying constantly about it. Most of the time when we worry about how we look, we are only trying to impress others anyway! Verse 32 says that idolaters worry about these things, and what are idolaters but people who don’t know God and therefore don’t know His works. But, as believers, we know God; we know how He works, but sometimes we lack the faith to trust Him. Our focus gets stuck on the problem rather than the God who can solve the problem, and that begins to affect our witness to others. If we get all worked up and come apart at the seams over our needs not being met in the way we want in the time we want, then we are not demonstrating trust and faith in God. A.W. Tozer said, “While it looks like things are out of control, behind the scenes there is a God who hasn’t surrendered His authority.” Psalm 50:14-15 tells us that God wants us to trust Him in times of trouble so He can rescue us and we can give Him glory. Giving God glory keeps us from worrying because we then focus on Who God is, focus on His knowledge of us, and focus on His love for us. We’re not looking at our desire for food, clothes, etc., we’re looking at the One who provides them and we’re looking at His power and ability to make them available. We have a choice when it comes to worry — either run after the things of the world or have faith and trust God. Verse 33 tells us what to do first in any situation, and verse 34 tells us the worthlessness of worrying about the future. We don’t know what the next days or even the next hours might bring. I was recently talking to someone who made the statement “At 7:30 that morning my husband and I were planning that night’s dinner; at 9:00 I was a widow.” We are not promised tomorrow so we need to make our lives count for God right now. God has everything under control. He has never failed us before and He is not going to fail us this time. It’s natural to feel anxious about the dangers in the world today. It’s normal to feel worried about the troubles in our lives or in our children’s lives or in our parent’s lives. Yet our response to these feelings is what’s critical. Philippians 4:6-7 says instead of worrying, tell God about it and He will give you peace. Rachel Wojo calls that going from pitiful worrier to prayerful warrior, and that’s where I want to go!