Suicide has become the #1 injury death in America, passing car accidents. Stress is attributed to being a major catalyst for suicide. God did not create our bodies to worry, stress, or be anxious! Scripture is crystal clear about this subject, worrying!
So today’s post is really about the root of worry and anxiety and how to keep from stressing out…which is NOT in God’s plan for our lives! So let’s look at Philippians 4:6-9.
“Do NOT be anxious about ANYTHING, but in EVERY situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the PEACE that transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard form me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you” [emphasis added].
We know that there are 7,000 promises in Scripture but with every promise there is a premise…meaning that to inherit and benefit from the promise there are things we must do as followers of Jesus. To get rid of stress and anxiety in your life, the Scripture above gives us instruction (the premise) for the promise of peace. By the way, the opposite of peace is worry, anxiety and turmoil. So let’s pick it apart…..zero in…simplify…make a list…of steps to PEACE.
1. Refuse to worry….worry is unreasonable! Worry always exaggerates the problem. Worry is a learned behavior…so you can UN-learn worry. Matthew 6:25, “Therefore I tell you, DO NOT WORRY about your life…” [emphasis added].
2. Talk to God about EVERYTHING! Let God be God. It is not our job to figure out how God will do it. It is our job to ASK! James 4:2, “You do not have because you do not ask…” Romans 8:32, “Since God did not spare even HIS own Son but gave HIM up for us all, won’t He who gave us CHRIST, give us EVERYTHING WE NEED!” [emphasis added on both].
Note: key word is need not want. God has the helicopter view. We have to remember that what we want, and our timing, as we pray, may not be in HIS BIG PLAN. He teaches us that “HE WORKS ALL THINGS FOR OUR GOOD FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM AND ARE CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE” (see Romans 8:28).
3. THANK God in ALL THINGS! You cannot be happy and ungrateful at the same time. Happiness is a choice…and it comes from a heart of gratitude. 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in ALL CIRCUMSTANCES; for THIS IS GOD’S will for YOU in Christ Jesus.” Colossians 3:15, “And let the PEACE of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. BE THANKFUL” [emphasis added].
4. Think about GOOD things! If you watch TV or stay on the internet, it is full of the opposite of what Scripture teaches. All actions are preceded by our thoughts. We GET to CHOOSE what we think about. Garbage in–what we read, what we watch and what we listen to–is the source of where our minds go. Focusing on God, Isaiah 26:3, “You Lord will keep in PERFECT PEACE ALL who trust in you and whose thoughts are fixed on you” [emphasis added, NLT].
5. Be CONTENT with anything. No wiggle room here! The definition of contentment is enjoying what I have RIGHT now rather than waiting for something else to happen in order for me to be happy. Contentment is independent of circumstance! Paul was a go-getter and ambitious but he tells us in Philippians 4:11-12, ” I have LEARNED to be CONTENT whatever the circumstance….”
The key word is LEARNED. Contentment has to be LEARNED. It is not natural. In many cases God will allow us to get to a place that He is all we have to LEARN that HE is ALL we NEED! When you compare, it does one of two things. It either feeds your PRIDE and makes you feel superior…or it feeds your DISCOURAGEMENT because you don’t measure up.
Both pride and discouragement are powerful tools the enemy uses to STRESS us. To give us anxiety. They will knock you out of life and out of your created purpose!!!!!!
Man makes clones…God does not. God created you to be you…under HIS authority to accomplish HIS created purpose that NO ONE ELSE can do. I believe that if we are going to try to be someone else in life…God may as well kill me/you. He made me/you to be me/you. OUR DNA proves it. It is God’s specific fingerprint on our lives.
To sum it up: worry is a sin. It is death to the body, mind and soul. It is a trap…quicksand …and WILL take you off of God’s A game plan for your life. JUST DO IT–DON’T WORRY! Marinate on the words above, God’s word.
Corrie ten Boom said, “If you look at the world, you will be distressed. If you look within, you will be depressed. If you LOOK at CHRIST, you will be at REST!”
Amen and AMEN!