“Don’t worry, be happy”, this song was made famous by Bobby McFarren in the 90’s (If you would like a touch of stress relief listen to the song here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHFDa9efCQU&feature=related ).
In this song, we find some great, much needed advice. The only problem is that putting down our worries is much easier said than done.
There are a great number of reasons why we shouldn’t worry. It has been proven that stress and anxiety can cause many health related problems such as HBP, heart disease, diabetes, mental and emotional problems, etc. Despite all these reasons, it seems as if most people find it difficult to keep a check on their anxieties and fears. (Just take a look at my chewed down finger nails and you can quickly come to the conclusion that I, too, struggle with worry from time to time.)
So what can a Christian do to keep from worrying? Our Lord graciously gives us clear instructions on how we can remain peaceful during the anxious moments of our lifetime…
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 kjv)
After the Lord encourages us to not worry, “Be careful for nothing”, He then gives to us the key to gaining true peace “Let your requests be made known unto God”. What a privilege we have… as Christians, we can take all of our concerns to the Lord who controls all things.
If He chooses, He can remove any situation from us, no matter how hopeless our situation may seem. Jeremiah had come to an understanding of this truth… “Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:” (Jer 32:17). If He doesn’t choose to do so, we can rest knowing this trial is for our good, His glory, and only for a fleeting time. (Roms 8:28; John 11:4; Roms 8:18). In either case, by coming to an understanding of these truths, we can rest knowing we are in His hands.
As our verses proceed, they do not promise He will remove the trial we face. However, they do promise peace in the midst of our personal storms, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Please notice that the clear result of approaching God with a thankful attitude, and laying our concerns at His feet, is a special peace that goes beyond human understanding. Have you ever seen a Christian going thru a devastating trial in their life and yet they seem so at ease? That is the peace of God at work. What a tremendous testimony this type of peace leaves in the midst of a chaotic world desperately in need of the peace only Christ can give.
THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:
It was once said that the true sign of a close walk with Christ is not shown during times of prosperity, but only during times of great trials and difficulties.
It makes sense… it takes very little faith to praise the Lord and live for Him during the smooth times in life. He blesses us and we respond by thanking Him. It is the natural thing to do… no big deal.
But what about those faithful Christians who praise and serve Him even in the midst the difficulties of life? It goes against their human nature to serve Him and thank Him when “the bottom drops out”. This is where our faith is put on public display… this is where our testimony shines out loud and clear.
When we are faced with trials, let us lay them down at His feet realizing it not only results in our inner peace, but also it is a living testimony to all around us. This testimony declares that faith in Christ is the answer for a world filled with anxiety and fears.
Let all of us, as Christians, have such a strong faith in Christ that can repeat what Job said as he faced innumerable trials… “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. He also shall be my salvation: … “(Job 13:15-16)
May the Lord bless your study of His Word.
Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”