The Worry Commandment — Worry: The Absence of Peace
The Worry Commandment
Worry: the Absence of Peace
February 18, 2019 by Tom Deighan
When was the last time you were at peace?
The question is a simple test to measure worry and anxiety, but the question itself is not simple. Many of us have been so immersed in worry and anxiety that we no longer question it. We have come to accept it as an occupational hazard or part of our personality. For many of us, life is worry and worry is life. We eventually decide that we are no longer capable of experiencing peace, just as someone in darkness long enough could decide they had gone blind.
Some of us have been so enslaved to worry and anxiety that we no longer believe we can experience peace. No matter how much scripture admonishes us not to worry, to fear not, to have faith, or to walk in peace – it is almost impossible to imagine life without worry or anxiety. There are simply too many legitimate concerns in this life, especially for those of us in leadership positions.
Fortunately, the smallest spark of light (or peace) will dispel the deepest darkness, and once the darkness has been pierced, we have the courage to hope again. We begin to seek the light at all costs, for we can no longer accept darkness as normal. Our spark is the Word of God. Jesus tells us not to worry, so we dare to hope. Philippians 4:6-7 show us that the solution for the darkness of worry and anxiety is the peace of God:
Be anxious for nothing . . . the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
According to scripture, peace replaces anxiety and guards our hearts, allowing us to be anxious for nothing. God’s answer for worry or anxiety is simply to replace it with peace. They cannot share the same space. The faintest candle can pierce the darkness, so can the lightest touch from the Prince of Peace dispel worry, anxiety, fear, dread, and obsession. But because we may not be able to recognize the chronic distress we suffer, we really must ask ourselves the simple question: Does peace fill my heart?
God promises us peace, but He does give us a part to play in turning the peace light on in our lives:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Jesus commands us not to worry, and Paul teaches us in Philippians how to be anxious for nothing! God has provided three tools for us to access His peace, the type of peace that surpasses all understanding:
Pray for Peace
When we need peace, we must believe that God desires to give us good gifts such as peace. “’If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him?’” (Matthew 7:11) Moreover, we know that God desires us to have peace, because when He thinks about us, He thinks thoughts of peace: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Supplication: Asking or Begging Humbly
All worries stem from something real to us that is often out of our control. When we are tempted to worry, we need to simply ask God for a solution, for protection, and for provision. It’s hard to beg proudly, for when we supplicate (let our requests be made known unto God), we are confessing that we are not adequate. We cannot face, fix, or overcome so many things, so we simply make our requests known to Him, humbly begging for His peace.
To worry about something is to simultaneously confess that God has protected us from it . . . so far. If nothing else, we should thank God for that! We should thank Him for all the other times He has delivered us from trouble, too, and as we do so, thankfulness will flood our minds, leaving peace behind. It is very hard to be thankful and worry, for acknowledging how much He blesses us and protects us automatically strengthens our faith.
God gave us the tools of prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving to access His peace. When I use them, I find His peace, but when I choose to face the uncertainties of life on my own, I worry. I obsess. His light fades, and the darkness of anxiety fills my heart. When I let my requests be made known to God with prayer, supplication and thanksgiving, however, peace fills my soul – pushing out the worry and anxiety – just like turning on a light in a dark room.
Proverbs 12:25 tells us that “anxiety in the heart of man causes depression . . . but a good word makes it glad.” The good word for us today is that God wants us to have peace, no matter what we face. He not only promises us peace, but he gives us the tools to access it whenever we need it. Yes, even as leaders who face unimaginable stress!
Dear Leader, if you have a hard time remembering the last time you were at peace, I pray that His Word flickers in your heart today, for nothing is more wonderful than being at peace.
If this blessed you, please share with someone.
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