Lately, there have been a lot of stresses weighing on me. I just lay in my bed with pieces of uncertainty or unfinished business glowing on the checklist of my mind, causing me to not sleep well.
Somewhere in there, I remember Jesus saying not to worry about tomorrow.
But wasn’t Jesus worried in the Garden of Gethsemane when He literally sweat blood and asked the Father to remove the cup of suffering that Jesus was about to have to drink?
Have you ever wondered how worry warps your view of God?
So how is this whole “don’t worry” thing supposed to look in my life? What’s the line between “not worrying” and being naive and unprepared?
Trusting in God’s Strength
In Philippians 4, Paul says he has learned the secret of living whether he has plenty or is in need, and that secret was that he could do all things because of the strength God gives.
To Paul, not worrying means we live in confidence of God’s strength.
Worry is the opposite: it is when we live without confidence in God’s strength.
“When I don’t know what’s going to happen, I don’t have much control over the outcome, and I’m not comfortable with that arrangement.”
That’s a lot different from Paul’s approach, which didn’t depend on the situation, but in the unchanging nature and character of God.
Trust vs. Control
Trusting in God doesn’t mean we have to love the situations we find ourselves in. Jesus clearly didn’t love the day of agony and abandonment He faced.
If my issues and problems are bigger than God in my own eyes, they will have a bigger influence in my life than God does.
There’s nothing wrong with making plans and preparations, but if we ignore the nature of God (all powerful, all knowing, all present), how much good can our plans really do?
How do we incorporate trust in God’s strength into our everyday lives?
The secret could be found in Philippians 4:6-7:
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
I like to boil this down to a pseudo-mathematical formula:
Pray + Thank = Peace.
This is not about telling God what you want Him to do. This is about remembering His nature and character.
Prayer may not result in God “fixing” your situation the way you would demand from a genie, but He promises that He will strengthen us as we seek His will both in and through our lives.
If you’re following Jesus, I’m guessing you have a story or two about instances where things seemed pretty hopeless, but in the end they worked out. Remind yourself of those stories.
Thank God for what He’s done, and choose to exercise faith by thanking Him in advance for what He will do.
Jesus says that His peace goes beyond all understanding, so our ability to stop worrying isn’t linked to our ability to figure stuff out.
In fact, our uncertainty about the future is a chance to trust God.
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Credit: Edited // Relevant Magazine