Worry, anxiety, and stress can lead us down an unhealthy path. Yes, our emotions of worry, anxiety, stress and the ever present “What if” game can cause us to be sick in our bodies. God has created our bodies so perfectly; they are designed to cope with stress in a fight or flight reaction, however, distress is another subject all together. Distress can lead to headaches, stomach upset, blood pressure rising, chest pain, and even problems sleeping. Research also suggests that stress also can bring on or even worsen certain symptoms or diseases. Our minds are so powerful it can effect our bodies.
I have played one too many times in my life the “What if” game. What if I can’t pay this bill, what if cancer comes back, what if my child goes off the deep end. This list can get long and overwhelming, consuming our thoughts, and moving on to effecting our bodies. Even Abraham played the what if game in Genesis 12:12 when he worried about the Egyptians stealing his life and killing him. Abraham worried and did not trust God. Abraham found it easier to trust God in the far-off promises God had made to him rather than trust God for his right-now needs. When we worry we are doing the same thing as Abraham.
So how do we stop playing the what if game? How do we stop the worry and start trusting God?
For me there are very practical ways to do this. Start by making a list of all the what if’s you have running around in your head. Then take the time to confess these to God. Philippians 4:4-6 instructs us, “4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
There are a few things I want you to notice here:
1. We are to rejoice and not be anxious about anything! I know that is hard sometimes but think about the times God has come through for you in the past. He is going to come through again and again for you! We must trust Him and take Him at His word to us. We must read the Word of God as literal to us; it was left for us as our instruction manual! Do we rejoice about a bad doctors report? No! But we do rejoice in the God who is our Father, who loves us, and will lead us and comfort us. That is something to rejoice in!We are to trust Him. I know it can be scary, I too had that dreaded doctors report over 6 years ago, but I knew that I knew, that God was not going to leave me and I could trust Him! It instructs us to rejoice in the Lord, it does not say rejoice in the report given by the doctor.
2. These verses tell us the Lord is near! That is how I faced the word cancer, I knew the Lord was near to me and His Name was higher than the word spoken to me by the doctor! God is near you, He longs to be near you. 1 Corinthians 16:23
3. Notice the verse instructs us in EVERY situation we are to trust, rejoice, and not be anxious. Every means just that…..EVERY. No matter what is happening, every single situation in our life we are to behave as these verses instruct: to rejoice in the Lord, not be anxious, know God is near, pray, be thankful, and tell God our requests.
4. We are to make requests of God through Prayer and Petitions. Petitions are requests we make to God. Prayer is communication we have with God. The note I want you to see here is we are to let God know our requests or even concerns. That is why I instructed you above to write things down. Now you do not have to write it down to be biblical, I am just suggesting to write them down. Then when you have them down spend the time talking with God about those thoughts and even your feelings on them. Guess what, God is not going to be angry when you tell Him you are angry or upset. He knows already. And just like we would not be upset at a child coming to us expressing their concerns He is not going to be mad either. So express to Him. THEN pray, pray for Him to take the problem, and actually give it to Him and do not take it back from Him. Know when you place it in His hands it is His to fix now, not yours. Which leads us to……..
5. Thanksgiving. Thank Him in advance for it being done. Even though you do not see it different in the natural know He is working on it and He is taking care of it. Know just like the last time He came through, He will do it again! He will move Heaven and Earth for you; His child. Trust and be thankful for all He is doing just for you.
One final note: when we do as instructed in Philippians 4:4-6, verse 7 tells us what will happen – “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Wow God will flood us with His peace, a peace we do not even understand or comprehend. And when we do what is instructed in verses 4-6 He promises His peace will guard our hearts and our minds in Jesus! Jesus is standing guard over our hearts and minds through the amazing peace of God.
Look at the Living Bible translation of verse 7, I love this: “If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.”
Now take a deep breath and think of His peace and allow your heart and your mind to be quiet and rest in Jesus’ protection. ~
God desires for you to walk in victory in all areas of your life; including your mind. He has made a way for you through His Word. you will learn how to take your thoughts captive and step into the full peace of God – No matter your situation! Get your copy