“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
We’ve been reminded so much not to be anxious lately. But it can be really hard to not stress out. I woke up in the middle of the night last night and couldn’t get back to sleep. So many things weighed heavily on my heart and mind. I prayed for family, friends, church members, and their family and friends, for people who are sick and who’ve lost their jobs, and for other concerns. As I thought about verses I know about worry and how they really are true, I remembered worry really can’t change anything. It just robs me of sleep, patience, joy, kindness, so many things. It won’t add an hour to my life or a dollar to my bank account.
“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:27
“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalms 139:16
In order to obey, I need God’s help. We all do. We simply can’t stop worrying on our own, just like we cannot save ourselves. We need Jesus’ sacrifice and the faith God provides. How do we live out the Christian life? Colossians 2:6 tells us we live this life the same way we started following Jesus. “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him.” We start following Jesus by sincerely asking God’s forgiveness for our sin, repenting – or turn away from our sin- and accepting Jesus’ sacrifice and God’s help. So last night, after hours of tossing and turning, I finally had to confess: “God I can’t stop worrying. I feel so stressed and anxious. I’m sorry for holding these things that I can’t do anything about. I give them to You. Please give me that peace that passes understanding that only You provide.” I was so grateful for the peace that allowed me to drift off to sleep.
So often we hear verses from the Bible. They encourage us. We agree with them. But we are not able to actually do them by ourselves. We need God’s help. And we need it over and over again. I urge you to pray continually as you walk through this week. Allow the challenges to draw you closer to God as you realize you need Him more and more. God is faithful, even when it doesn’t feel like it. In Hebrews 13:5 & Deuteronomy 31:6, God promises “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”