Dealing with worry
‘Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. 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. Philippians 4:4-7 (New Living Translation)
Ok I need to explain that big ‘wow’. It is early Monday morning and prior to reading this passage I am full on worrying. Not the usual worry of a usual day, this day, this week is anything but usual. I have three very big events that are each taking turns pressing my worry button right now. The first is a heart concern for a wonderful friend, where I want them to be happy, feel deeply valued and appreciated.
The second is around my supposed plan for today: to work on my doctorate. I am completing a doctorate in business, working on a new contemporary theory of organisational change, and last Monday the semester started and I am yet to enrol.. After finishing as CEO of Bible Society New Zealand two months ago my plan was to spend three days a week on my doctorate and then do some consulting work through my company, Global Scope Media the other time. Well I am yet to do a day of study. The challenge is that Global Scope Media has grown very quickly and that work is very interesting, and the idea of building my company, very attractive. Plus I have really got into my online ministry (including this blog) and am spending more time on that than I originally thought I would. So today I need to decide whether I enrol this semester or not.
The third is a biggy. About a month ago I was interviewed for a senior international executive role and this is the week I should find out how I went. If I am offered it, then that decides what I am doing for quite a long time.
So I am sitting here, three major worries bouncing around my heart and then I read Philippians 4:4-7 which offers absolutely practical advice on how I can feel peace. And when it speaks of peace it declares: ‘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.’ This peace in the Greek means much more than a nice happy feeling, but speaks of every kind of blessing and good, of unity and agreement. So as I face these worries, I absolutely seek God’s peace.
The first advice is to ‘Always be full of joy in the Lord’ – full of joy, how? Do I manufacture joy when I am actually feeling quite anxious? And Paul really makes the point by adding : ‘I say it again—rejoice!’ The answer is in the next part which reads, ‘Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do.’ The word considerate in the Greek speaks of being gentle and patient, of waiting and trusting in the Lord. So right now I am struggling to find joy amidst my worries, but ‘in the Lord’ in serving the Lord I need to be patient and trust that God has things in hand. And when I start to think about that, joy bubbles forth!
Then final bit of advice is: ‘pray about everything.’ In the Greek this comprises of three different words for ‘pray’ : prayer, supplication and thanksgiving. So how do I reduce my worry? As well as rejoicing in the Lord through patiently trusting Him, I am to actively spend time in prayer, to set times aside to pray and not only to pray for my needs, but pray with a thankful heart, acknowledging where God is working powerfully in my life!
So to find that peace, that enduring blessing in my life I need to be patient and trust God, and to be joyful about His involvement in my life. Yes!! And I am to pray, to make time to pray and not only ask for help, but say a huge thanks for what God is doing in my life now!
Ok time to pray..
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Yahweh’s Yarn in a Year : 1 year Bible reading plan
The portions for the next few days are: Psalm 55-56; Job 37-38
To access the complete plan for the year click here