“God’s Bigger Than What’s the Matter” // Positively Speaking // Mark Wilson

Man holding arms up in praise against a sunburst

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 4:6-7

God’s bigger than what’s the matter!

A friend recently told me she often opens the Bible to “Fret not” passages like Psalm 37:1. “God knows I’m a fretter,” she chuckled, “and that’s why He keeps reminding me to trust Him!”

Anxiety is fog in the spirit.  It clouds the way, slows us down and shrinks our dreams down three sizes.  As Stephen Crane said in Red Badge of Courage, “Elfin thoughts made cowards of us all.”

When anxious thoughts flood over us, we’re frozen — stuck — unable to flow with the Spirit.  Anxiety steals our joy, saps our strength, and extinguishes our faith.

This is why the Bible speaks so often and clearly about it.  Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount declared, “Who, by worry, can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:27.)

Philippians 4:6-7 gives us the remedy to cure anxiety.

  1. In EVERY situation:

Even the ones that seem impossible.  God is God of every moment: both good and bad.  Mike, my small group leader often reminds us that the challenging situations we find ourselves in are not problems — they are just events.  With God, it’s no problem!

  1. By Prayer:

This is an upward look — reminding ourselves that God is there and He cares — so why despair?  Keep God the focus of your prayer, rather than your troubles.

  1. By Petition:

Ask Him!  One reason why we see so few specific answers to prayer is because we make so few specific requests.  Ask Him what He wants to do — and then go along with Him.  Put as much faith into it as you can.

  1. With Thanksgiving:

Praying is not complaining with your eyes closed.  If we really believe God is here and wants to act on our behalf, then, of course we will be grateful.  Perhaps, the best way to start a prayer is by thanking and praising Him for what He is going to do, and who He is.  Hard times are simply great opportunities for God to show His glory!  This keeps everything in perspective.

And when we tackle our troubles with prayer like this — the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard our hearts and minds!

To rejoice is a choice.  We don’t need to stew in our situations.  We can give them all to God and let Him show His power and grace through them!

 

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