Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6-7
I am a processor. I over think much of life. It can be a good quality as I think through things and look at the current circumstance from all angles. I want to be on the look out for potential problems when trying to decide on a course of action. I want to try understand all the players. The problem is that often I over process and it begins down a trail that leads to being filled with what if’s. If I am not careful it can lead down a path that causes my heart to be anxious. I will begin to worry and focus on all the potential problems. There are far too many times that I can convince myself that a really good thing is a bad thing, or that I am not capable of doing it and I am frozen in indecision or just give up.
Being a processor isn’t a bad thing, but over processing often leads to sin. The sin of worry which then causes a lack of peace. Ultimately is leads to disobedience in the very thing God is asking you to do.
So how can I find peace in the midst of a crazy world? How can I find peace in the midst of a mind that wants to think and over think everything? How can peace guard my heart and mind?
The promise in Phil 4:7 is that the peace of God will guard our hearts and mind in Christ Jesus. The peace of God guards my heart and mind. But how? In order to gain the answer we must begin in verse 6.
Be anxious for nothing instead trust God with everything.. To be anxious means to worry. To be troubled about something. God is clearly telling us in the passage that we should not worry about anything. We should not worry about our life. (Matt 6:25-34) When we find ourselves in a dangerous situation we should not worry. (Matt 10:16-23) We shouldn’t worry about what words to speak when ask to defend our faith. (Luke 12:11)
No, on the contrary we are called to trust God in all things.(Ps 9:10, 31:14) We are called to commit each day to Him and trust in His promises. (Ps 37:3-5) We can trust Him while we face our enemy. (Ps 55:23) When we are afraid we can trust Him. (Ps 56:3-4,11)
The answer to being troubled or worrying is to put our trust in God. Trust Him at all times. Pour your heart out to Him. He is your refuge. (Ps 62:8)
Practice prayer and supplication through each thought. Seek God, bring your anxious thoughts to God. Ask Him to reveal to you what His words says. Ask Him to handle the things that threaten to overwhelm and worry you.
Take every thought, every concern for your life and offer it up to God with a surrendered heart. Tell Him that He is free to do whatever His will is, and mean it. Then just leave it there. If you find yourself taking it up again, then again, in prayer take it to God. Give it to Him and leave it. Repeat as often as needed until you have completely surrendered whatever you are worrying about.
Give thanks always. This doesn’t mean we must be thankful for the cancer diagnosis (or whatever) we are facing, but we can find things to be thankful for. Give thanks for what God will do. That He heard your cries, answered your prayers. Give thanks for Him, His character and attributes.
When we begin to focus on God and who He is we find less room to worry about things we have no control over.
Peace in Jesus. And last but certainly not least we find another clue in verse 7 on how to find peace. It’s found in Christ Jesus. In other words, my thinking about it, over processing it will not help find peace. In fact there is nothing in me that can find peace. I can’t solve the crisis. I can’t control the situation. In fact I am pretty helpless in and of myself to find any peace at all. It’s only in Christ Jesus that peace is found.
It’s resting in Him that I find peace. It’s turning it all over and surrendering it all to Him. It’s knowing that He has got this. He is trustworthy. He is good. (Ps 34:12; 84:11; 107:9; Heb 9:11)
I am not saying or trying to make it sound easy, it is not. Especially for this processing mind of mine. What I am saying is that I am learning to stop over thinking and just give it over to God. I am learning that when I begin to dwell on, and over think an issue it can show a lack of trust in a God who promises to work out the good in all things. (Rom 8:28-29) It’s learning to surrender each and every thought to His will and trust Him.