May 19 Do not be anxious but tell God

Phil 4:6 “Do not be anxious ~| about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell ~~ your requests to God.”

In a world where Christianity is suspect or persecuted as a dangerous sect and the loss of possessions, or even life, is not uncommon (Paul was writing from prison), it may seem ridiculous to command, “Stop worrying about anything.”

However, we must stop being concerned about things over which we have no control.

Jesus said, “Unless a kernel of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces much grain. The one who loves his life destroys it, and the one who hates his life in this world guards it for eternal life” (Jn 12:24–-25).

You must learn to give up any claim to your life, yielding it fully to Jesus; it belongs to God. He can do what He wants with His property. This is freedom.

Paul’s solution to their “anxious” feelings was that they pray “without ceasing” (1 Thes 5:17). This prayer was to be “with thanksgiving” (Gk. eucharistia). When God condemned our sinfulness, He described mankind as, “they did not glorify him as God, or give him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts were darkened” (Rom 1:21), a state resulting in other grievous sins.

Thankfulness is our expression of trust in His providential care, even if it means being fed to the lions.

Here is the remedy for worry: prayer, supplication, and making requests to God. We need to share with God our innermost feelings. He knows what is happening, but He wants us to express our trust and thankfulness to Him. Believers are to “cast all [their] anxiety on Him, because He cares for [them]” (1 Pet 5:7).

The sin (not the disease) of anxiety is simply a failure to trust in God’s control and His absolute wisdom. Thankfulness springs from confident faith in God’s control. Can you thank Him for your difficulties? Your family? Your health? Think of how this trust could help you mature and grow into a simple life of faith and obedience.

Rest in this promise: “All things work together for good to those who love God” (Rom 8:28). Can you thank God for every part of your life?

“Dear Jesus, I praise You that at any moment of the day or night I may run to You with any concern I may have and You are there to listen and help. I do not have to be anxious or worried, because I can lean on You in times of trouble.”

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