I make exceptions for some of my worries. Is anything wrong if I do worry? How would I know for sure?
Philippians 4:1 - 23
NLT - 1 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord. I love you and long to see you, dear friends, for you are my joy and the crown I receive for my work. 2 Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement.
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To me, there is a valid distinction to be made between "thought" and "anxious thought". We are to do all that we can with regard to any particular situation of concern. After that, we are to leave the outcome to God and His will (and by so doing to give testimony of our faith in Him), rather than continuing to be consumed with worry about it (particularly with respect to factors over which we have no control). We should also be alert for ways in which God may speaking to us about the situation through the ongoing progression or outcome of events. (Jesus spoke of the birds of the air neither sowing, reaping, nor gathering into barns, yet still being fed by God. Birds don't need to worry or be anxious in that respect. Nevertheless, they still have to go out and find that food. It is not going to come to their mouths without effort on their part.) For me personally, recollection of God's past involvement and faithfulness during stressful times in my life, and the long-term favorability of ultimate outcomes (even if they might have seemed adverse in some respects at the time) are also a great help in finding the faith to cope with new situations.
When we worry or we are anxious about anything, we are demonstrating that we don't trust Jesus, the creator of the Universe, to take care of us and meet our needs. That hurts and disappoints Jesus greatly. Jesus commands us not to worry about anything. “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? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:25-34) Jesus commands us to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. When we allow Jesus to shape our expectations of ourselves and others, of our present and future plans, then our lives will be in the centre of God's will. We will have what we ask for and expect in life because it is already God's will for us. "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:2) Jesus commands us to cast all our cares on Him. "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7). “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30) The culture of our world, controlled by our enemy Satan, wants our lives to be filled with worry and anxiety. Why? Because it will destroy the effectiveness of our faith; we won't put our trust in Jesus because we are focused on fulfilling "our will" for our lives instead of "God's will"; we are not seeking God's kingdom at all. The attractions of this world promise to give us satisfaction but they are always hollow and empty; we always hunger for more. We see what other people have accomplished or accumulated in life, and we want what they have; but their lives are a house of cards, a hall of mirrors displaying lies and deceptions. When we finally take our eyes of these things of the world, and put our eyes on Jesus, he reveals the "good, pleasing and perfect" will of God. As we pursue God's will for our lives, there is no need or room for worry and anxiety. Why, because the creator of the universe is in control; he controls everything that we can't control; he knows everything about the future, whereas we know nothing. Let's seek to live each moment of our lives in the centre of God's will and His peace will wash ALL our worry and anxiety away. His Word guarantees it, that's His promise.
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