Have you been anxious about anything? These are pictures of my kids. Just looking at these photos makes me mindful of the fact I can’t protect them from danger. Yet, in the Bible we are told not to be anxious about anything.
I have a college friend who has recently been diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer. Another friend is having marital problems and is worried about her children. I’ve had some trouble hearing and remembering things lately. How can God expect us to go through life and not to worry, not to be anxious?
He doesn’t. He knows we will be tempted by our fears, but wants us to take our anxieties to Him. …casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). It’s times like these, I cry out to God and confront Him with His own words.
Philippians 4:6-7 says,
The Lord is at hand, do not be anxious about anything, 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 understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Today in prayer, I specified the people for whom I was concerned as well as the fears which were creating anxiety in my heart. I told God, “You said…” Then remembering the words of the verse, I began to thank God. I thanked him for my friends, children, family members. I thanked Him for His faithfulness in my past and present. I thanked Him for His Spirit indwelling each of these people. I recalled how God used so many difficulties in my life to draw me closer to Him and thanked Him. I thought of the times I expected the worst, and God mercifully and graciously turned the events around. My heart was full of gratitude.
This turn of my mind from my fears to God’s faithful loving-kindness to me, had the desired and promised effect, I began to experience His peace guarding my mind and my heart. I did not conjure up the feeling myself. The faith I have is a gift from God, and the peace that accompanies my faith is also from Him. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And it is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Other verses come to mind and bring more relief to my heart.
Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not anxiously look around you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you. Surely, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).
The steadfast in mind, You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You (Isaiah 26:3).
God is a good, good Father. He embraces us with His love, like the compassionate Daddy that He is. My earthly father was a big man, over six feet tall. I remember going to him when I was afraid, and he wrapped me in his strong arms and I felt safe and reassured. He is gone, but the One who gave me such a father will always be with me. He will be with you too. He keeps His promises and His words are true.
If you are anxious, take your concerns to Him. He will relieve your worried heart and give you peace. He is bigger than cancer, divorce, fear, even death. He conquered them all when He died and rose from the dead. He is standing at the door and is knocking. All He needs is for you to open the door and let Him in. He will embrace you with His big, strong arms.
I will close with the end of the paragraph in Philippians 4 (verses 8-9),
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Amen. Love, Nicole