10/08/17 Do Not Be Anxious

READING: Isaiah 30-31, Philippians 4

“Do not be anxious about anything.”

Philippians 4:6

I admit that I tend to be a worrier. No matter how old I get, I still sometimes get consumed with worry; I let things fester in my head even when I know I should just give them to the Lord. I’ve lost more sleep than I care to admit when I can’t let something go internally.

On the other hand, I’m still growing in the Lord in this arena of life. I’m learning to apply the text of today’s reading. First, I’m learning simply to hear the command of the Word: “Do not be anxious about anything” (Phil. 4:6). I know that when I’m anxious about something, I’m disobeying the scriptures. My worry is, regrettably, an expression of a lack of trust in the God I claim to follow, and I must take responsibility to confess that sin. Second, I’m learning to do exactly what Paul said to do: “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Phil. 4:6). That means that I’m learning to say, “thank you” for whatever I face in life. That’s not always easy, but gratitude essentially says, “Lord, I may not like what I’m experiencing, but I believe that You’re lovingly in control of all things. I trust You to do what honors You and is for my good.” 

Third, I continue to learn to talk to God about everything. Too many times in the past, I’ve tried to solve issues on my own and then sought God only when I needed Him—only to create a bigger mess and more worries. It’s uniquely powerful, though, to take everything to God first, if only to lay the worries at His feet. Finally, I’m still, under God’s grace, training my mind to think as Paul expected: “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” (Phil. 4:8). When I focus my mind on Him, turn to Him immediately, thank Him for everything, and quickly confess my worrying, I experience the peace of God that “surpasses all understanding” (Phil. 4:7).

Consuming worry that keeps me awake, or God-given peace that grants me sweet rest? The wise choice seems obvious to me. Now, I just must live that way. 

ACTION STEPS: 

  • When worry hits you, practice the steps listed in this devotion.
  • Thank God for the peace that He alone gives.

PRAYER: “Father, I confess my worries to You, and I thank You for whatever I face in life.” 

TOMORROW’S READING:  Isaiah 32-33, Colossians 1