Don’t worry over anything whatever; tell God every detail of your needs in earnest and thankful prayer, and the peace of God which transcends human understanding, will keep constant guard over your hearts and minds as they rest in Christ Jesus. (JBP)
One of the more common and futile remarks we might make is to tell someone “not to worry”. The problem is that it doesn’t work. It is really a way of us telling another person we don’t want them to worry. Fair enough, but again it doesn’t stop the worrying.
The Bible itself tells us not to worry but it does give some clues as to how this might be achieved. First, our text reminds us that we bring all that concerns us to God. Some imagine that God is too concerned with world events to be bothered about our relatively minor concerns. But if it concerns us, it concerns our God. As the old saying goes, a care too small to be turned into a prayer is also a care too small to be turned into a burden.
And then we are urged to bring these concerns to God in the context of thanksgiving. This is because such gratitude reminds us of just who it is who hears our prayers. It is a reminder to us that this God has been faithful in the past and will be so in the future. Beware of prayer becoming “worry speech”, words which merely focus on our anxiety. Such prayers often leave us unmoved and even more anxious.
Our prayers are to raise our anxieties to God but the focus is to be on God and not our anxieties. The peace which surpasses understanding comes from not only bringing our worries to God, but from also remembering just who God is.
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