Antidote to Worry

We worry about so many things . . .How will I get it all done this week? How will I pay the bills this month? How can I get back on my feet? What do I want to be when I grow up?  When will I finally get some much needed rest and peace? The good news is that God has the antidote to worry.

It’s great to plan ahead and dream of what we’d like to see happen in the future. Taking a stand against what is unfair can be important. But worrying and replaying it over and over in our minds can wear us out, though. Fretting acts as a toxin which can literally make us sick. Worry requires an antidote. What does Paul’s letter to the Philippians, chapter 4 of which could be nicknamed “the mental health chapter” of the Bible, reveal to us about it?

God’s Antidote to Worry

Prayer with thanksgiving is God’s antidote to worry.

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

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you” Philippians 4:6-9 (NIV).

God’s Peace

The peace of God AND the God of peace are both included in the antidote to toxic worry. Our part is to choose well.

In coaching, I am always asking people “What stood out to you?” I have been referring people to this Scripture for more than twenty years but what stands out to me today is this. The peace of God AND the God of peace are both included in the antidote to toxic worry.

My part is to choose. I can choose not to be anxious. I can choose to pray. I can choose to give thanks. I can choose to ask God for what I need. I can choose to count on the peace of God then doing its part, guarding my heart and mind. I can choose to think about whatever is excellent or praiseworthy. I can choose to practice this as a lifestyle, knowing the God of peace WILL be with me. I can choose to count on Him.

We do not have to accept the vulnerability of prayerlessness. Thank God we are free to make new choices and are given grace to practice.

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” Ephesians 6:18 (NIV).

TAKE IT AND RUN WITH IT


  • Now what about you? How badly do you want the peace of God and the God of peace as your own antidote to worry?
  • Prayer and anxiety are two opposing forces. Which one will you choose to align yourself with today?
  • What do you need to actively practice to develop this healthy habit?

Please feel free to share your thoughts to encourage others. Click on the speech bubble above to leave a reply…

Spiritual Vitamins: What is God Producing, Prompting, and Inspiring in You?

When God reveals a recurring theme in your life, what is He up to? How will you respond, sensing His perspective versus what the enemy may be trying to stir up?

As I sit in God’s presence this morning with His Word open before me, this light emanates from 1 Thessalonians 1:3 — faith produces work, love prompts labor, and hope inspires endurance.

What is God producing, prompting, inspiring in you? What motives — other than faith and love —must you surrender? What work or labor, not prompted by Him, do you need to abandon to make room for the real thing? Where do you need a fresh infusion of hope to endure regardless of the circumstances?

These are the questions I am asking myself this morning as I sit in His presence in the Light.

Wisdom from a Friend

I shared these thoughts with a few trusted friends, knowing they would stand for me and with me in prayer. Steve Ivaska responded, saying he is in awe of how God weaves people, circumstances, and scripture passages together as part of His master plan and is grateful for the reminder of truth. He gave me permission to share the words he penned on December 10, 2010, less than a month after retiring, just as he was beginning to explore the possibilities for living out his mission statement of “Building Men with Christ-Centered Priorities.”

We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers.  We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 NIV).

As I think about my personal objectives and mission, I need to see them unfolding as a “work produced by faith.” I cannot see what lies ahead clearly or the outcome.  It is and will continue to be a “journey of faith.”

Second, it is to be a “labor prompted by love.”  I need to keep this thought front and center…that my motivation needs to be solely that of love: for Christ, my family, and the men whose lives I seek to impact. This isn’t “about me.” It’s not about what I’m doing to fulfill my passion or use my talents or finding something meaningful to do with the rest of my life.  It about the two great commandments: love for my God…with heart, soul, and mind…and love for others (Matthew 22:37-39), using the time, talent and treasures he has entrusted me with.

Third, I must not lose sight that this is a “race of endurance.”  As I run the race and encounter the challenges within, I must not lose sight that the run is inspired by my hope in Christ, the Author and Perfecter of my faith, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, to make possible my salvation and the opportunities now in front of me.

God has already begun to answer my questions.

TAKE IT AND RUN WITH IT


  • Now what about you?  What motives — other than faith and love —must you surrender?
  • What work or labor, not prompted by Him, do you need to abandon to make room for the real thing?
  • Where do you need a fresh infusion of hope to endure regardless of the circumstances?

Please feel free to share your thoughts to encourage others. Click on the speech bubble above to leave a reply…