Updated: Dec 1, 2022
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34
I know whenever I was told not to worry, it almost always induced a state of frustration; like, how can one just simply not worry? It felt like there was something that needed to get done everywhere I looked. One task after another just piling up, and the thought of where to begin ended up causing a shutdown and hindered productivity altogether. So basically...just the thought of trying not to worry stressed me out to the point of needing a break hah.
So how can not worrying be something we're called to do as Christians? How is it even possible? It's not like the world stops moving so we can catch our breath, right? So what's the secret to living a non-anxious, worry-free life?
Let's take a deeper look at the book of Philippians; specifically these well-known verses and see if we can work out the secret together:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6
In the Bible, the subtitle for this section of the chapter is called an exhortation, which means to strongly encourage or urge someone to do something. So, the Apostle Paul was closing his letter to the church of Philippi with his final thoughts of love and encouragement. He was urging them to not waste time being anxious or worrisome about anything; but rather he gave us instructions on what we should do instead:
In every situation, pray! Talk to God about what's going on like you would talk to a family member or a friend.
Petition your Heavenly Father! Request God's perspective. Ask what are His thoughts are on the situation you're facing. What should you do? Should you leave it alone or is there something you are being called to do?
Give thanks to our Lord God! The very fact that we can pray to God and He hears us is a miracle, and it's enough for us to be grateful and give Him thanks for all He has done whenever we talk with Him. Additionally, He is faithful to answer us and help us when we come to Him. The Creator of the world loves us that much! Praise Him!
Lastly, present your requests to God. Ask your Lord and Savior for what you need, whether it be freedom from anxiety, peace, wisdom and understanding on what to do, grace and forgiveness for making a mistake, etc. Whatever you need, ask God. And thank Him again because we know He will take care of us!
The next verse explains what happens when we do all of those things with our concerns and worries:
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
This verse isn't a promise from the Apostle Paul; this is a promise from God. That when we lay our worries and concerns at His feet, the peace of God, which goes beyond our own understanding, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Our Lord God doesn't want us to do life on our own. He wants to help us; all we have to do is surrender our plans, anxiety, fears, troubles, heartbreaks, hurts, trauma, anger, bitterness, and everything else holding us in bondage. We have to surrender it at His feet in prayer, talking with our Lord God and asking for His help; and most importantly, thanking Him for what He has already done and who He is.
Scripture Verses about Anxiety:
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:25-27
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7
Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up. Proverbs 12:25
When anxiety was great within me, Your consolation brought me joy. Psalms 94:19
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. Luke 21:34
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalms 23:4
- Challenge -
The Bible says: "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:34).
So my challenge is for us to literally pause and stop even thinking about tomorrow. Plan several minutes today to spend with God and tell Him about everything that's on your mind and your heart.
Do this for (3) consecutive days, and write down (or make a mental note) of any changes or differences in your life. If you don't notice any changes, keep the challenge going for (5) consecutive days or a full week!
- Tips -
- Schedule an appointment with God, whether it be easier for you in the morning, afternoon, or right before bed. Carve out that specific time for Him, so you don't get interrupted.
- If you feel yourself getting distracted during prayer by all the things you have to do, write those things down and revisit them after your time with God. (Bonus: You can also ask God to help you with those tasks, even the mundane ones.)
- If you've tried scheduling a time, and it doesn't seem to be working, try multi-tasking and talking out loud to God. It may not be ideal, but it helps develop a pattern of talking with our Heavenly Father. So try it when you're in the shower, when you're driving, or doing household chores, whatever your task try to include a prayer.
- Closing Prayer -
Father God, we thank You for your presence and your love. We thank You for Your sacrifice of Your one and only Son Jesus Christ, that enables us to come to You with our prayers and petitions. We thank You for your unfailing love and faithfulness. We thank You for your work in our hearts and minds that's transforming us each and every day to become more like You.
Father God, I pray for those reading this, I pray that we all receive Your grace and forgiveness for the things we've fallen short of. I pray that all anxiety and fears be cast out and thrown farther than the depths of the ocean, in exchange for Your Heavenly peace. I pray for freedom in Christ Jesus, so that we may all live life in full, through the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit. I pray that we receive a hunger for Your presence and for Your Word and for fellowship with You, that we might grow to know You better. I pray for fresh revelation for all those reading of Who our Heavenly Father Is, and also all of our identities in You, Lord God. I pray that we might grow to see ourselves the way You do.
I thank You Lord for Your work has already been completed. It is already finished. We thank You Lord as we surrender our plans to You and allow You to move in our lives, as it is according to Your will.
In Jesus' mighty name. Amen.
- References -
YouVersion (2022). Philippians 4. Bible. https://my.bible.com/bible/111/PHP.4.NIV