Don’t Let Worry Hold You Hostage!
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)
Fear has its own all-too-familiar physiology. I recognize the symptoms when they hit and, even against my better judgement, I cower under the boot of their intimidation.
The story might begin any number of ways. Something troubles me, or startles me; a real or imagined threat, it makes no difference. Before I can evaluate the matter, a jolt of adrenaline flushes out from the base of my brain flying through my arteries to glands strategically position throughout my body. Like a fire alarm, my cells dash into “fight or flight” mode. As they should. For a moment, I am stronger, more alert, and thinking more quickly than normal. Adrenaline is a gift from God to help me deal with dangers. If I stumble on a mountain lion in the woods, I need the jolt of fear to get me moving quickly.
But anxiety plays a deadly game with me, literally. My body doesn’t and can’t discern the difference between a real or made-up threat, whether the lion is there or just a figment of my imagination. Either way, the “fight or flight” chemical Molotov cocktail explodes within me. Left unchecked, the after-burn releases actual toxins into my cells that begin eating away at my body and soul.
The Bible is all real life. Worry, fear, and stress happen, and they shatter my peace and erode my life. Some fears need to be answered with needed change. Some fears need to be answered with truth, as a bluff at the poker table needs to be called. Either way, the fears and worries they leave behind need to be exposed. Paul in his Philippians letter gives us our trump card, a come-back to defuse any stress point, actual or imagined: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.”
Prayer evaporates worry, because prayer invites God’s last word in any matter. And to that we can add, “And don’t forget to thank him for his answers.” Even before the answers materialize in our eyes.
So instead of worrying, consider Reflecting and praying by saying the following below;
Today, I will follow the thread of anxiety to its source. I will identify what worries me. I will name it, and see it for what it is. The facts are, well, the facts. But they are not by themselves the truth! Once I expose the matter I can concede my worry, then turn the tables. leveraging the energy of fear (and it does generate a real power) as a motive to pray about the actual problem. Specifically, “Tell God what you need.”
Lord, I worry. Fear is a real enemy. Finances, a difficult decision, a conflict with a partner, a challenge in my work scenario… these matters matter. I know you are not asking me to deny reality here. I’m not. But whatever my case, imagined or real, I turn the worry portion of this situation back to you, here and now. Settle my stress. Calm my anxiety and the agitation in my body. I see myself handing this entire matter into your strong and good hand. As I do that now, I won’t neglect to add, “Thank you!”
Next time you get ready to worry, consider The point of fear and anxiety and how it may affect you, don’t let fear and worry block your breakthrough. Instead, trace any symptom of worry down to the root. Even the slightest most fleeting signal of fear must be exposed. think Why is this happening? What is the cause? Is it a fear that needs to be addressed by action, or is it a fear that needs to be exposed by truth as a false alarm? Be aware of the symptoms of your fear today, and hunt them down and kill the causes in prayer and in Jesus!
Your point of fear is where your faith needs to break through.
– Pastor Mark and Jill