READING: Philippians 1-4
TEXTS AND APPLICATION: Sometimes I read a Bible text, and all I can do is immediately confess and pray. I suppose today’s reading of the book of Philippians includes several of these texts, but here’s one that jumps off the page to me:
Phil. 4:6-7 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.
See, I’m a worrier. I don’t always let things bother me, but when I do . . . I tend to let those “things” (whatever they are) consume me. If I have a concern at work, I don’t know how to leave it at the office. If someone’s upset with me, I’m restless until we at least attempt reconciliation. I sometimes get far too stressed over financial issues and ministry burdens.
Genuine concern that leads to an honest response is not necessarily problematic, of course, but concern that controls and consumes is idolatrous. This Bible text reminds me that my anxiety is often nothing less than sin. When I carry my own heaviness alone, I make myself the burden-bearer; I enthrone myself over the One who is the true burden-bearer.
Moreover, I’m challenged today that prayer that does not bring peace over worry is probably no real prayer at all. Verbalized words that don’t affect the heart and mind are just puffs of air — not a petition before a holy, caring, sovereign God who is hardly worried about that which consumes my soul. Genuinely seeking God amid worry should bring a peace that none of us can fully understand.
ACTION STEPS: Find time today to confess to God those things about which you worry.
PRAYER: “Father, You’re a good God. Forgive me when I don’t seek You in my worry. Forgive when I do seek You, but I still hang on to my worries. Please change me, God.”
TOMORROW’S READING: 1 Timothy 1-6