Exchange Worry for Peace

Last night in our ladies’ class, we talked about anxiety. We read a lot of scripture, where we are told not to worry or be anxious, but to cast our cares on God, and to trust Him even in times of trouble. We had a lot of discussion on what it meant to us and giving specific stories and examples of times we had seen God work in our lives.

One of the questions that was asked was why do you think we have so much trouble having faith that God will take care of us and help us. Faith defined is “confidence or trust in a person or thing”. The example was given that we have faith when we sit in a chair that it will hold us up. Or if we get in our car, we have faith it will take us where we need to go. These are inanimate objects. We mean nothing to them. They simply exist to function as designed. We don’t even think twice about trusting that they will work. So why do we have such a hard time trusting in God, who loves us and promised to be with us, and is all powerful and never breaks His promises?

Because we use these objects every day. We see them work every day. We are accustomed to seeing them work, and expect them to work. But so many of us are not in the habit of noticing the things God is doing for us. Or if we do see it, we easily forget. Maybe it seems like it’s not the same day after day.

But it is.

God is there. He is still staying faithful to His promise to take care of us. In 1 Peter 5:7, we are told to cast our cares upon God. Paul shows us in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, he had weakness that he asked God to remove. What was the Lord’s answer? “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” He loves us. He created us. We are precious to Him, and He wants us to rely on Him.

In Philippians 4:6-7, it reads, “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.” The way to find God’s peace is to turn everything over to Him. There is nothing so big He can’t handle it. And nothing so small He’s not willing to help with it.

I also find it interesting that just a couple of verses before, in Phil 4:4, it says, “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again – rejoice!” He tells us to be joyful, then immediately after tells us to not worry and peace will come. What are the first three listed attributes of the fruit of the Spirit? Love, joy, and peace. When we love God, we will find it easier to be joyful. When we have the joy of the Lord in our hearts, we will find it easier to trust in Him and find His peace. It’s a building process, a chain (and goes on through the rest of the attributes listed in Gal 5:22-23). We can’t fully have one without the other.

It’s also an exchange. God doesn’t just reach down and take our worry from us. He tells us to cast it on Him. Then, in return, He gives us peace. But we can’t have that peace until we give Him our cares. We have to be willing to let them go. Trust that He is so much more capable of taking care of us than we are ourselves. Because He is all knowing and all powerful, and He sees what we don’t. He has wisdom we can’t even fathom. He makes things move and work together to an end we couldn’t imagine. He has strength enough to hold us up. We wonder sometimes how we are going to make it through, how we are going to be able to handle what life is throwing at us. We don’t have to. All we have to do is trust in God, and be willing to surrender control to Him. He is here. He is willing. He is waiting.

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