Turn your worries over to God
This seems to be a season of worry, doesn’t it? Do we have enough food for the Thanksgiving dinner? Are the kids coming home for the holidays? How am I going to get through the holidays when I’ve just lost a loved one?
In his letter to the Philippians Paul gives us some ideas as to how to handle our anxieties. In Chapter 4, after telling us we should rejoice in the Lord always Paul gives us this four-step process to handling life, not only when things are easy, but especially when things are tough as they were for Paul and the Philippians.
First step – don’t worry! Don’t worry about anything. Are you kidding? I mean worrying is how we live our lives, isn’t it? We worry about yesterday, we worry about today, we worry about tomorrow, about next year. Try making a list of the things you’re worried about – maybe it’s your marriage, maybe it’s your work, maybe it’s money, maybe it’s your child, or your parents or your health, or your church’s health.
Paul’s next step is key: don’t worry about anything but pray about everything. Since we cannot change one thing in our lives by worrying, Paul says “Give it to someone who can do something about it.” Give it to God in prayer. Of course, God already knows what’s going on with us; God knows every detail of our lives. But when we tell God, “Lord, this is too big for me; I can’t handle this by myself,” it is then that God takes the responsibility off our shoulders.
Paul goes on: don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything, and be thankful. Our attitude should be one of gratitude, thanking God for our lives, even the things which we worry about. That is what we should be thinking about: how we can show our gratitude to God, how we can be thankful?
And then the final step, if we give up our worries, if we pray to God, if we are thankful to God, we can have peace. Not just any peace, but the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, a deep peace which should define our lives. Don’t worry, pray about everything, be thankful, and God’s peace will guard your hearts and your minds.
So what should we be thinking about? Paul goes on to give us this this wonderful list about what we should be thinking – whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Read Philippians 4:4-8. It can change your life.
REV. DALE BROWN is the pastor of Cumberland and Guinea Presbyterian Churches. He can be reached at email@example.com.