“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). Sounds easy doesn’t it. Don’t worry, be happy, the Lord hears you and offers you His peace.
All of that is absolutely true. God wishes us to cast or worries upon Him so that He might offer us the kind of peace that can rule our hearts. He wishes for us to trust in Him so much that our worries vanish.
And we know, down deep in our hearts, that that peace that surpasses all understanding can be ours. We’ve all felt it in short scenes. Maybe when you’re on top of a beautiful mountain range, or alone on the beach. Maybe you felt that peace in quiet meditation or in those times when the presence of God seemed palpable in your life.
It’s a peace we all long for but that we rarely give ourselves opportunity to experience because, though God asks us to cast our worries upon Him, we have become much too attached to them to let them go.
Worry has become as much a part of our lives sometimes as breathing. Will my paycheck cover all the bills? Am I good enough to make the team? Do I look fat in these clothes? We spend so much time worrying that it gets in the way of our rejoicing.
Proverbs 12:25 tells us the stark truth, “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes glad.” Each thing we put on the pile of worry in our lives weighs on us like a boulder growing larger and larger on our backs. One worry leads us to others that can stop us in our tracks because of the weight they put upon our souls.
But, if we look closer to our Proverb, we see a way out of our worry. According to this wisdom, it is a heart of gladness that can overcome the anxious soul. It’s a matter of attitude. Whereas an anxious heart will weigh us down, a happy heart will make us glad. If we let our worries rule over us, we’re bound to suffer the burden. But if we approach even our trials with an attitude of prayer and thanksgiving, God promises to lift our burdens and bring peace to our hearts.
1 Peter 5:6-7 gives us further advice saying, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
Overcoming your worries take humility. Worry, itself, is realized when we have decided that, somehow, we can overcome these burdens on our own. Worry is selfish in that it’s a sign that we haven’t cast our anxieties on the Lord.
A glad heart, on the other hand, comes in the understanding that God is bigger than anything that causes us to worry. We are exalted because we have learned to trust in the mighty hand of God in all things. Our hearts rejoice knowing that God cares for us enough to help us overcome the trials that cause us to fret.
So, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:33-34).
To overcome worry, we have to approach worry with the right attitude. Instead of stewing, rejoice in the knowledge of God. Instead of locking yourself away in agonizing thoughts, approach life with righteousness and grace. Overcome worry with prayer and thanksgiving, even if it might seem that the wheels are coming off the bus.
Again, easier said then done. But with each attempt to approach worrisome things with the right attitude, the next will become less difficult. It’s a process worth undertaking because the world gives us many opportunities to worry.
Finally, learn to trust in those who you know are grounded in their faith because God often works through His children. Sometimes casting your troubles on the Lord comes by way of talking with someone you trust. And, if you are that person that another comes to who has been weighed down by the burdens of life, make yourself a willing ear and a reminder of truth. Together, with God at our side, we can overcome anything. Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, forgive us when we have trusted in You so little that our worries have overcome us. Teach us to trust in You in all things and bring gladness and righteousness to our hearts, even in the face of trial. Amen.