February 28 – Two biblical building blocks to defeat WORRY

February 28, 2020 Randy Bushey

~by Randy Bushey

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life…Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (Matthew 6:25,27,34).

In our brief look at Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (for our TruthScripts memorization passage), we concluded that if Jesus commands us not to worry, but we choose to give into anxiety, we are disobeying His clear instruction.

And that is sin.

You may object: it’s not a choice! I can’t help it! I’m wired so that worry is my default setting!

Although that may be correct, that’s not the character disposition Christ has called – and equipped – us to live.

Why? Because, almost nothing crushes faith like uncontrolled fear.

And its ugly sister, anxiety.

Therefore, in Philippians 4 through the pen of Paul, the Spirit provides a supernatural strategy to win in the skirmish with stress. And angst. And negative pressure. And nervous tension…and fear.

Choosing JOY: Building block #1 – remember that Paul is writing from prison in Rome. And yet the Apostle calls on us to choose joy.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice! (verse 4).

How do I go about that?

Rejoice is a term not often found in contemporary conversation. It simply means to choose joy.

Joy is equal parts happiness, and contentment, and satisfaction, and delight, and peace, and gratitude.

If you want to choose joy, take up this 2-part mind experiment:

1) think deeply about God: what are the implications of His omniscience, or His self-existence, or His obsession with beauty?

2) and then, rivet your attention on – and make a list of – valuable people, things, and characteristics that your loving Father has provided to you.

Claim the EQUATION: Building block #2 is to claim the following simple – bulletproof! – promise to ward off anxiety.

The Lord’s commitment to you is found here:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6,7).

It can be reduced to this equation:

          prayer + thanksgiving = peace + protection.

If anxiety has one positive outcome, it is only this: that it drives us to our knees in prayer.

Paul says our prayers are to be offered – and our lives lived – in a context of daily thankfulness.

Don’t miss the promised result: we will experience God’s supernaturally transcendent peace; and as an added benefit we will be protected.

          prayer + thanksgiving = peace + protection.

The Lord promises protection for our minds. That often takes the shape of helping us to avoid deception or intellectual confusion. Understanding what is genuine and what is counterfeit.

And protection for our hearts – warding off discouragement.

Takeaway: Lord, the requirements of this formula – 2 basic building blocks – are easy to understand, but represent disciplines I find so hard to live out.

Please energize me by your Spirit to be prayerful and thankful.  I want my life to be characterized by those occupations.

I desperately want to experience Your peace, Your protection for the battle I face today.

~ graphic by Joana Croft, freeimages.com

…this blog edited from posts in April 2019, January 2018 and March 2014.