Let go of your worries – “…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint”—Isaiah 40:31 (NIV).
“Nana, things were much better in the past, weren’t they?”
“What do you mean?” I waited for my 13-year-old grandson to reply.
“Well, people weren’t so mean to each other and things were just simpler back then.”
“Yes, I guess they were,” I replied. “I know growing up that we didn’t worry about locking the doors of our houses or our cars.”
Our conversation about the “good old days” continued as I explained about change. I reminded him of our God who never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
I often long for yesterday when times were indeed, much simpler. I question, and sometimes worry about, the future my grandchildren will face in a constantly changing world. None of us can stop it. We have to face it. Instead of lamenting a lost, more innocent past, and worrying about an uncertain future, we must trust—trust in an all-powerful, all-knowing and all-present God.
American pastor Francis Chan said, “Worries imply that we don’t quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what’s happening in our lives.”
According to author Jill Briscoe, the Greek word for worry is “merimnao,” the anxiety that obsesses. That kind of worry distracts us, giving us a divided mind. Says Briscoe, “And isn’t that just what worry does? It divides your mind and distracts you from everything else going on around you.”
Using the Apostle Paul’s formula for winning the worry war, Briscoe says, “Prayer is where you start. Prayer is simply verbalizing your worry to God.”
Brisoce adds, “Prayer changes things sometimes but prayer changes you always. A common idea is that trusting God with our anxieties will make them disappear.”
But Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 12:9 that God’s grace “is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Paul also tells us to pray about our worries with thanksgiving. “In everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).
You mean we have to thank God for our worries? No, it means we are to thank God for Who He is in the midst of our worries. However grim our circumstances, we are reminded by the Apostle Paul, who wrote many of his letters from a dirty prison cell, that we should fill our thoughts with true, noble, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy things (Philippians 4:8).
An attitude of gratitude will lead to what Paul reminds us of in Philippians 4:9. “The God of peace will be with you.”
God guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. His peace transcends all understanding.
Trusting God for the outcome of our future becomes easier when we let go of those things over which we have no control. Freedom from anxiety, according to J.B. Phillips, a Bible translator, begins and ends in God’s loving arms.
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