Wednesday, July 27, 2016

What do you worry about? What makes you anxious? Do you wake in the middle of the night fretful and in dread?  Many of us do.  Although we believe in God we are subject to the curse of fear, anguish and anxiety.  We tend to console ourselves with the thought that we can't help it and it's only human. Indeed, it is only human but help it we can or, to be more precise, God can.
We don't tend to see worry and anxiety as sinful or wrong. We see it as simply just part and parcel of being human and caring - if we didn't care, we wouldn't worry, goes the refrain. There is some truth in this, of course. Who doesn't worry about their children or grandchildren? Who doesn't succumb to the anxieties of life? God knows we all do, but what if God didn't want us to? What if God wanted us to know a living sense of his presence and offer up all our worry and anxiety to him?

The truth is, freedom from worry and anxiety is a birthright of our baptism. Sir Winston Churchill said: "When I look back on all these worries I remember the story of the old man who said on his death bed that he had had a lot of trouble in life, most of which never happened". The Holy Spirit can help us write a book called How to stop worrying and start living.
So how do we set ourselves free from the tyranny of worry and start living in the power of the Spirit? The first thing we need to do is study and reflect on the Word of God. Try this verse for a starter: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" [Phil. 4:6 NIV]. Here we have the first step towards not being weighed down by anxiety: offer it up to the Lord. Have you noticed how this instruction from Paul comes with a promise? "And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" [Phil. 4:7 NIV]
Lord, I repent for all of my worry and anxiety and turn to you, laying down all my burdens. By your grace fill me with the peace of Christ which will transcend and surpass my understanding. Amen
[ Taken from reading on June 18th 2016 from Bible alive]

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