How much worry is okay? Which of your concerns does God want to hear about? According to Philippians 4:6 “none” and “all” are the respective answers. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
After speaking on worry, I was approached by a young mother, “It is hard to see how worry is so bad. It is not like murder or adultery.”
I reminded her that small choices over time add up to big consequences and then explained. When Hurricane Fran approached the East Coast we thought Raleigh was safe. The weather reports said South Carolina would receive the brunt of the storm. However North Carolina woke to high winds and crashing trees. Outside smelled like a Christmas tree farm, but was a disaster.
Out in the Atlantic Ocean the storm had shifted only a few degrees north, but that small change taken out over hundreds of miles moved the storm from South Carolina to the middle of North Carolina. A shift of a few degrees in your thinking and attitudes taken out over five, ten, or fifteen years makes you a different person than you would have been. God has good reason for forbidding worry. It changes your character.
Ship Out Worries Through Prayer
This passage says to wrap every worry in prayer and send them to God. A parking place at the concert is not too small a request for Him. An unhappy relationship or broken past is not too big for Him. He numbers the hairs on your head and yet names each star. Nothing is too big or too small for your heavenly Father. If it concerns you, it matters to Him.
Present your requests believing that God will hear you and answer in the best possible way. When you pray, thank Him for listening and acting. Don’t just dump your worries on Him as if He’s only a sounding board.
Thank You that You hear me and are involved in my life. Since You allowed this, I know it is for my good and the good of all who love You. Thank You for accomplishing something wonderful in me through this. Would You please … heal, provide, change … However, recognizing You know best, I offer up this situation and ask for Your very best. Thanks for listening and handling this concern.
Thanksgiving demonstrates faith and brings hope. I have the ear of the One who can handle this. Faith pleases God and unleashes His power. Faith knows that God is using this circumstance to accomplish something that could not be accomplished without it.
Jesus invites us to bring our worries to Him and leave them. He cares. Offer them with thanksgiving.
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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.