Friday, May 6, 2011
"FREEDOM FROM WORRY"
Good Evening to All!
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Today's Seed:"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (Philippians 4:6 NIV)
Worrying can be all-consuming. It can eat us alive form the inside out. Worry feeds on itself. It starts small with the everyday things and grows into a monster, paralyzing our plans and our prayers.
Paul was in prison when he wrote to the Philippians. He had plenty of reasons to worry. He was probably physically chained to guards and was facing possible death. Yet in this letter to the Philippians, Paul uses the words "joy" and "rejoice" fourteen times.
Although Paul couldn't break out of prison, he had a mental attitude that was free as a bird. What was his secret?
The antidote to worry is "prayer and petition, with thanksgiving." Prayer is a worshipful talking with God, and petition means expressing our needs. Whenever we pray, we should be thankful; but thankfulness can be especially important when we are bogged down with worry. A spirit of thankfulness and a remembrance of past blessings pave the way for internal peace.
To be free of worry also implies a confidence in God's care and protection. Paul believed, as should we, that ever circumstance in his life had occurred with God's knowledge and was under God's control. When we have a personal relationship with Christ, every experience of turning to him with our problems builds spiritual muscle with which to trust him in the future. His past provision is the foundation for our trust. From trust springs peace, and from peace comes joy.
Dig Deeper: The Greek word for "anxious" means fretful, overly concerned, to be pulled in different directions.
Weed & Water: The next time you are worrying Did I turn off the curling iron? What are they going to find in the MRI results? . . . Remember Paul's words to the people of Philippi. Tell God how you fell. Ask from his guidance about the issue. Then find one thing to be thankful for and build on that with more thanksgiving. Watch what happens. "The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7).
Sprout & Scatter: Paul got his mind off himself by thinking about the people in Philippi. He did more than just think; he prayed for them and wrote them a letter. Paul demonstrates that one way to relieve worry is by earnestly asking God to act for the good of someone else. Think about someone who has a need, and then pray for him or her.
Think about it: How does knowing Paul was in prison but not worried make you feel about your circumstances?
List five things you can thank God for now.
Prayer Pot: Dear God, please take care of . . .
Take-Away Idea: The antidote to worry is prayer and thanksgiving.
Good Night to All and May God Bless!