“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
The imperative given here is forbidding us from being full of anxious care. Simply put, it is not okay to have a heart and mind ruled by worry. How much energy have we misspent because worry was hindering us? How much joy in Christ have we forfeited because anxiety ruled our hearts? How much good did we do by allowing worry to go unchecked in our minds?
But, there is hope. God tells us how to deal with worry.
1. Recognize it is sin. Don’t make excuses like, “That’s just me, I’m a worrier” or “This is not as bad as some other sins, so it’s not a big deal”. Confess it. Take it to the throne of grace, trusting in the perfect sacrifice of Christ.
2. Bring your cares to God in prayer. Careful for nothing, but prayer in every thing. So, we will be doing a lot of praying, bringing our concerns and burdens to a sovereign, all-wise, all-poweful God who never gets overwhelmed. He is a Father who delights to hear the cries of His children. As Peter says, throw your cares on Him, because He cares for you (I Pet. 5:7).
3. Don’t forget thanksgiving. When you are fretting over something and it feels like it is going to smother you, there is something powerful about giving thanks for all the times God has blessed you, and to ponder how He is caring for you even now. Thanksgiving helps us be more God-centered and not consumed with our burden.
This is not an easy three-step plan that guarantees you will never worry again. These Scriptural principles are a way of life, and have to be practiced over and over again. These commands should give us hope in the battle with worry. We have good tools God has given us; let’s use them. God is glorified by a heart that battles against worry and fights for the peace and joy that comes from trusting in Him.