GOD TELLS YOU NOT TO WORRY!
By Cynthia Murray
Hi guys! We have already entered into the month of June and summer fun with family and friends definitely awaits all of us! Even now I am writing to you from beautiful Miami Beach where I am enjoying fun in the sun with my own family, but it isn't always easy to relax even if you are in the most beautiful place. Anxiety can raise its ugly head anytime, anywhere...if you let it.
In fact, this morning as I was meditating on the word and in quiet time with the Lord, I began to reflect on the sad news of the recent death of internationally acclaimed fashion empress Kate Spade. This world renown designer who appeared to most people to "have it all", sadly took her own life a few days ago in her New York City home. Kate's family revealed that despite her enormous career success, she was suffering from severe anxiety. Anxiety is another word for fear, stress and worry. It is what God has cautioned us against.
Not worrying is often easier said than done, but it is a mandate from the Lord. So, that tells me we can do it! Scripture says, "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 NIV)
The Lord knew that in this world with all of its problems, strife and challenges, you and I would be tempted to worry and become anxious about certain situations. I have to battle the temptation to worry about circumstances that look ominous or have the potential to end badly. Nevertheless, I fight it off. I have another friend who doesn't appear to worry about anything, even to the extreme of not handling situations that actually require attention. The truth is neither worry nor apathy is good!
There is a balance to be struck here. I had to learn through the years to obey this scripture in Philippians 4 by praying to God about "negative" situations and giving Him thanks for working things out for my good. It hasn't always been easy, but I'm able to pray that way because God said in Romans 8:28 that all things (problems, challenges, issues) would work toward my good because I love Him and am called according to His purpose. That doesn't mean that trials and tribulations won't come, we know they will. It just means that when they do, you and I can confidently trust in the Lord to work even the worst situations out for our good.
On the other hand, my friend has had to learn that you can't just sweep problems under the rug and pretend that there is no issue at all. That is a reckless posture to take and usually makes matters worse. As a leadership trainer I often teach my clients that problems left to themselves without proper attention almost never improve over time, but only grow worse. I've seen it over and over again.
So, what is the balance to be struck with situations that threaten our peace and tempt us to worry? Do we pace the floor all night, argue with other people or try to force our way in situations over which we may not have control? Do we move blindly forward with the attitude that the problem or issue isn't there and that each person involved will just deal with the consequences on their own without any intervention? No! We have to do exactly what the Bible teaches us to do: take the issue before the Lord and give thanks in advance for His help to work it out. The Holy Spirit ,who guides you into all truth, will instruct you on whether to speak up or rise up and try to change or improve the situation or whether to be silent.
In most cases, wisdom is going to tell you to do what you reasonably can do to help or improve the situation. However, when your natural efforts fail, just leave it alone and let God work it out, being careful to thank Him for helping you and everyone else involved. The bottom line: Don't fret, worry or be anxious because God has got your back and He wants things to be well with you! So, is casting off worry a challenge? Yup! You bet it is, but you can do all things, even give up worry and anxiety, through Christ which gives you strength! ~dwd