God’s counsel for a rainy Monday morning

peaceI awakened this morning around 3 worrying, giving things to the Lord, then taking them back!  Do you ever do that?  If we want to worry, there are surely plenty of things to occupy our time.  Wars, terrorism, aging, financial problems, relationships that are not working …  what’s on your list?  Anxiety makes its appearance in many disguises. Some become moody, others withdraw. Some get silly, trying to laugh it away. Some eat too much! Some use alcohol or drugs. Some watch TV, others spend money. Some cry.  Most do not sleep well.   Bob Rosenblatt, a psychologist, writes- “The two things that create anxiety are lack of security and lack of safety. Usually that means financial issues or physical harm. And what is facing most Americans? … We’re told to watch out for physical threats all the time. The only normal response to this is an increased level of anxiety.”

When I opened the Bible this morning, after my trip to WorryLand during the early morning hours, I chose a beloved passage for my meditation. There I found God’s counsel for a rainy Monday morning. “Rejoice in the Lord always … 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. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:4-9, NIV)

Christians live in the same world as everyone else! Many Christians are not emotionally healthy because they ‘bury’ their feelings underneath the words of faith, refusing to acknowledge the reality of their emotions. Do not think you lack faith if you’re experiencing elevated levels of anxiety! If you’re anxious, admit it!

What then?  The Holy Spirit says we must make some choices about where we put our attention. Look away from the uncertainty to the One who owns you!  Actively put your concerns in His care.  Then, reject the ugly, life draining, self-defeating thought patterns.

These choices will bring the peace of God to our hearts even in the middle of the night. Living in faith and defeating the anxiety that is common is not just a once and done choice. It is a lifestyle. Just as good health comes from daily choices of food, exercise, and rest; spiritual vitality is sustained by daily decisions.  Among them, we must –

PRAY!  That’s more than talking to God. We must ourselves with God’s Presence. Speak honestly with the Lord about the state of your heart. If you’re afraid, tell Him. If you’re feeling hopeless, tell Him. Remember to include praise and worship in your prayer time. Include time to simply be with God– perhaps in silence, perhaps in song, or maybe with your favorite worship CD playing.  “Pray without ceasing,” (1 Thessalonians 5:17, NKJV)  In other words, live with an awareness of God all of the time.

ENGAGE! Join with other Christians, family, and friends. God never intended for us to ‘go it alone.’ We need each other. Talk with others. Worship with others. Help your friends by allowing discussions go beyond superficial jokes and laughter. Do not be afraid if emotions bubble to the surface.  One source of anxiety for us is our readiness to write off relationships instead of pursuing reconciliation!  Galatians 6:2  (NLT) teaches us that we must “Share each other’s troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ.”   Paul tells us that “When others are happy, be happy with them. If they are sad, share their sorrow. Live in harmony with each other. “ Romans 12:15-16 NLT

CHANGE PERSPECTIVE! We can lower our eyes until even the molehill in front of us looks like a mountain. When things pile up, look higher. Like Elisha’s prayer for his fearful companion, pray this – “O God, open his eyes and let him see.”  Make it first person. “Open my eyes!”

Here’s the word from the Word.  Discover new peace for today.  Jesus invites us to His peace.\
“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? …

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans  (people who do not know God) run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:25-33, NIV)

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10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord) (listen on YouTube)

The sun comes up it’s a new day dawning

It’s time to sing Your song again

Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me

Let me be singing when the evening comes

 

Bless the Lord O my soul

O my soul

Worship His holy name

Sing like never before

O my soul

I’ll worship Your holy name

 

You’re rich in love and You’re slow to anger

Your name is great and Your heart is kind

For all Your goodness I will keep on singing

Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

 

And on that day when my strength is failing

The end draws near and my time has come

Still my soul will sing Your praise unending

Ten thousand years and then forevermore

 

Bless the Lord O my soul

O my soul

Worship His holy name

Sing like never before

O my soul

I’ll worship Your holy name

Jonas Myrin | Matt Redman
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sixsteps Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)
Thankyou Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

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