Victory over worry: Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3
July 10, 2014
Just recently, while away on a short holiday, we received news about some trouble brewing back home. The only way to fix the problem was for us to return home a day earlier than planned - and even then, the damage could have already been done. We were caught in a dilemma. What were we to do?
After some discussion, we chose to stay away. We enjoyed the last day of our holiday and came home as planned on the following day ... to... nothing. The trouble that was brewing had not brewed at all! Oh there was much that could have happened but thankfully, none of it did.
How grateful we were for the choice we had made. Not so much for our choice to stay away - but for our choice to not worry.
Paul wrote to the Philippians saying...
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true ... think on these things. Philippians 4:8
To worry is to do the opposite. Most of our worrisome thoughts are not true because they have not happened in real life - only in our imagination. Our worry is usually about something in the future - something we cannot be sure will happen. Worrying focuses our thoughts on things we cannot prove. We dwell on what may possibly happen but as of yet has not occurred. Or, we focus on events that may very well have taken place but at present we have no way of knowing for sure if what we've imagined has really happened. Either way, worrying is to focus on things that we cannot be sure are true.
The Israelites experienced much to worry about - and worry they did. Their journey had barely begun when their first worrisome event happened. The Egyptians were after them and the Red Sea was before them. Panic set in!
But Moses spoke to the people and said...
Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. Exodus 14:13-14
What did Moses instruct them to do? Fear not. Stand still. Hold your peace.
In other words...
Don't worry. Stay calm. Be quiet.
These instructions from so long ago are still relevant to us today.
What if the trouble that was brewing back at our home had happened? Would spending our last day worrying about it have changed anything? Could the damage that may have happened been avoided because we worried? No. Worry would have dominated our thoughts and conversation and our final day would have been spoiled but nothing would have changed. Instead, we focused on what was true. We were away. There was nothing we could do. God knew what was happening; He was in control. Focusing on truth allowed us to enjoy the present and to leave the future and its uncertainties until we knew what was true.
Focusing on what is true takes effort. It's a choice.
Paul instructed the believers to...
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Don't be anxious and worried. Pray. Leave everything in God's hands. He is the only One Who is capable of doing anything about it anyway. And what will happen? Giving it to God will bring peace - peace of heart and mind. Peace, instead of its opponent: worry.
When you're faced with a worrisome situation, ask yourself...
Can I change the situation? Am I able to control it?
If not... stop worrying. Refuse to let your mind imagine the possibilities.
Instead, whatsoever things are true ... think on these things.
And then, as the Lord instructed Moses at the edge of the Red Sea...
Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward. Exodus 14:15
Go forward. Carry on. Don't waste precious time and thoughts dwelling on the possibilities. Rather, focus on what is true and enjoy peace in the process.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3