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.
Lately, I have been under a lot of stress. I've been very anxious and weighed down by things that concern me. I could give you a long list of good reasons why I am stressed. I do legitimately have things to worry about, as I am sure you do. But at the end of the day, the truth is that I am stressed and weighed down because I am carrying these burdens around on myself, rolling them over and over in my mind making them seem bigger than they are, instead of lifting them up to my Lord.
The Christian never has reason to be conquered by anxiety, because he has access to the unfathomable peace of God. Philippians 4:6-7 gives us a very straightforward plan for attacking anxiety in our lives. In every situation, we are to present our requests to God. We pray and we ask God for what we need, being careful to remember to be grateful for all He has done for us in the past.
Something amazing happens when a Christian lifts his concerns up to the Lord. Because he knows that God has accepted him in Christ, he knows that God has heard his prayers. Prayer becomes a means by which he can cast his burdens on Him. The believer walks away knowing that he no longer needs to worry about those issues because they have been entrusted to the Lord. God is in control and He will deal with those concerns wisely. The Bible tells us that handing our anxiety over to the Lord in this way produces the most amazing peace in the believer's life. This peace, which is beyond our capacity to understand, is from God and of God. The Bible tells us that it stands guard over our heart like a soldier protecting us from anxiety. There is no peace like the assurance that a loving God has taken your worries under His care. Christians have endured the gravest situations and the worst tortures with divine calm because of this peace, and it is certainly more than I need to conquer my worries.
Are you weighed down by worry today? Take some time to lift your concerns up to Him. Be careful to be thankful, but ask Him for all you need. You may be surprised at how much difference prayer can make in your outlook on life. It is not uncommon for me to experience a loosening of the muscles in my shoulders and neck as I pray until I feel physically lighter. You may not realize how stressed you are until you begin to lift your requests up to the Lord.
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