“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.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
A word from the Coach:
Recently I receive an urgent email from a friend asking for prayer regarding a serious situation in his business that potentially could have some serious consequences. As one might expect, he asked for prayer that the “situation” could be resolved quickly. But more than just asking for the “situation” to be resolved, my friend asked (and I quote) “…that the peace of Christ would overpower fear & anxiety.” As of the writing of this blog, my friend’s “situation” has still not been resolved, although he is hopeful of the outcome. However, in his very next email after his request for prayer he said (and I quote), “I was hoping this trial would “pass” with an easy clarification or through some misunderstanding but when I found out there was a legitimate error that needed to be addressed, panic struck! But panic turned to peace the moment I requested prayer, literally! I couldn’t believe it! Not only did I receive peace, but wisdom & direction to go along & sustain the peace. That is where I am now, with this thing.” Maybe as you read this blog, you’re thinking about a “situation” in your life where fear and anxiety threaten to take control and about how much you need the kind of peace that my friend was talking about. I’m here to tell you that you can experience that same peace. Just read on!
The Bible makes it clear that God offers his peace in troubled times to anyone and everyone who will simply trust him, which means by faith turning the situation over to him. The Bible says, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” Isaiah 26:3 (NLT). Notice that God not only offers peace, but “perfect peace,” which is something God alone can give. The only condition for experiencing this “perfect peace” is that you are trusting him and keeping your thoughts “fixed on him.” This means depending on him rather than thinking that it all depends on you. It means letting God be your focus rather than the problem. It means “letting go” and giving the problem over to him. I’m not suggesting that you sit back and do nothing, and just “trust God.” Do whatever you can do in the situation and then trust him with the outcome. Recognize that even when you do all that you can do, the outcome is out of your hands. His peace comes when you come to that point, and entrust the outcome into God’s hands. Learn to trust the one who says, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (NLT). Believe me! God really will do what he’s promised! My friend certainly discovered that, and so can you!
Of course, you may be thinking that all this sounds great but at the same time be a little confused about how all this really works. The idea of trusting God may seem a little nebulous, and you may be wondering, “How do I put this concept to work at a practical level?” What you need to understand is that the practical expression of what it means to trust God is prayer. It was when my friend stopped worrying and started praying and asking his friends to start praying, that he experienced the peace of God in his soul, even though nothing had physically changed in his situation. The Bible says, “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.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT).
The point is simply this: “Why worry when you can pray? Stop worrying about what’s happening and start praying about it!” You may think that this sounds like an overly simplistic alternative to worry, but it really isn’t. Yes, it’s a simple alternative, but there’s nothing simplistic about it. The fact of the matter is that God really does hear and answer prayer. This is not to say that God will automatically give you everything you want. God never promised that! But what he does promise is to give you what you really need when you need it. The Bible says, “Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” Psalm 55:22 (NASB). In the original language of the Old Testament, the word here for “sustain” literally means “to measure out,” with the idea that God will supply whatever we truly need in full measure.” The Bible echoes this same promise in the New Testament in the words of the Apostle Paul when he says, “…My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 (NASB). We may want God to change our circumstances when God knows that what we really need is for our circumstances to change us. As the Apostle Paul writes in the book of Romans, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” Romans 5:3-5 (NLT).
When you make the decision to let go of the problem and entrust it into God’s hands through prayer, knowing that he may not necessarily give you what you want but will most definitely give you in full measure what you need, the Bible says, “THEN you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand…” Philippians 4:7 (NLT). At that very moment you will experience God’s “perfect peace,” as my friend did, which is something without logical explanation and beyond anything you could have ever hoped for or even thought possible. This was my friend’s experience, – and it can be yours too! But the promise doesn’t end there: it goes on to say, “His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 (NLT). In the original language of the New Testament, the word here for “guard” is the same word that was typically used of a Roman sentry standing guard duty. When fear and anxiety try to take over, God’s peace is like a sentry standing guard at the door to keep the intruders out. As you long as you continue to commit the matter to God in prayer and trust him for whatever happens, your heart and mind will continue to be “under guard” by the perfect and incomprehensible peace of God.
If you have already come into a personal faith-relationship with Jesus Christ by trusting him as your Savior and Lord, then learn to trust him, not just for salvation but also for every “situation” that threatens to fill your heart with fear and anxiety. If you have not yet come into a personal faith-relationship with Jesus Christ, you need to understand that this is where it all has to begin. Remember God’s promise of peace is found “in Christ Jesus”; that is, in a personal faith-relationship with him. To find out how you can have this kind of relationship with Christ, check out the link entitled, “HOW YOU CAN EXPERIENCE A PERSONAL FAITH-RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST.” The link will tell all you need to know and what you need to do. Then you can experience for yourself this incredible peace of God.
Your personal key to spiritual growth:
God wants you to experience his perfect peace in your soul, no matter what the outward circumstances of your life may be. So stop worrying and start praying! God may not give you everything you want, but he’s promised to give you everything you need. Learn to trust God with your problems and to express that trust through believing prayer. That’s when panic will cease, and God’s peace will flood your soul! When you learn to trust him, like my friend, you’ll discover for yourself that his promise is true.