Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Scripture Memorization Week Two {Philippians 4:6-7}

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I have had a lot of changes in the past couple of months. I got married, I moved my son and I from the comforts of my parents’ home {probably to their delight} and moved to the city where I know only a couple of people, and have recently started sending my son twice a week to a Mother’s Day Out program {that he currently hates}.

I have so much anxiety it’s insane.

I can honestly say that anxiety has been the biggest thief of joy in my life presently. The anxiety I have as a mother is twofold to what it was before becoming a mother. I know you other mothers {and fathers} can relate. It’s about everything, y’all. It’s relentless. Am I spending enough time with him? Am I spending too much time with him? Am I teaching him enough about God? What will his relationship be like with his biological father? Will he hate me as a result of said relationship? Have I not talked to him enough? Why isn’t his speech where it “should” be? I don’t want to leave him because I might die. Who would take care of him? AHHHHH

I have trouble going to sleep at night. I tell everyone everything that is troubling me and giving me anxiety. It’s funny how I feel so comfortable complaining to people the things that worry me, when in reality, they can’t do anything about it

In summary: It is absolutely overwhelming relying on my own strengths & the advice of others and it not being enough. 

“The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith,and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.”
- George Mueller
I really love that quote, don’t you? I ought to put it on sticky notes to put all around the house. As soon as I let anxiety seep in, it means I’m not having faith that it’s being taken care of. I’m not trusting God. By relying on my own strengths, and the strengths of others, I’m not showing that I have faith in the Lord to take care of my needs. And honestly, I do give my worries to God most of the time when I smarten up and realize I can’t do it alone, but when it comes down to it, I just don’t have faith in His sovereignty. Anyone else have that problem?

Verse 6 says in every situation by prayer and petition present your requests to God. In some versions it says in supplication, meaning to humbly present yourself to God {signifying his Power}. I strongly believe that by making it a pattern to give every single anxious thought to the Lord, believing in his sovereignty to take it all away and handle it will We’re not just commanded to do this just to show the Lord we trust in Him, we do this because he cares for us. {1 Peter 5:7} I can present my worries to Him and tell him all day every day and He can fill that hole that anxiety has brought into my life because he loves and cares for me. God is on my side so I will have no fear, the people that once gave me anxiety will just be mere mortals {Psalm 118:6}. I am given freedom from all anxious thoughts, fears, and concerns.

Right after saying “with prayer and petition” I love how it doesn’t just go on from there.  I says with thanksgiving present your requests to God. This seems like classic Paul, right? As previously discussed {in last week’s post} the guy didn’t exactly have the best life at that moment. Nothing seemed to be going his way, to outsiders, but here he is telling us to give our worries to God, and to do so with thankful hearts. He had no anxiety, despite all of his misfortunes because he trusted in the Lord with a thankful attitude, and told the Philippians to do so as well. Perhaps we are asked to be thankful in our petitions and prayers to God in order to be reminded of the things that He has provided us with. Starting out our prayers to God with thankful hearts, listing off all God has done for us, might make our current anxieties seem pretty puny.

"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard you hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus"

Talk about freedom! Verse 7 is my mantra on anxious days. If you have ever experienced the peace that only God can provide, the peace that transcends all understanding, then you know what I’m talking about when I say freedom. To put this into context I want to share what J. Oswald Sanders said:

"Peace is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of God." 

God’s mere presence when called upon gives you a peace that transcends all understanding. It’s a joy that you can’t understand! It’s a joy and calming feeling that you don’t know how or why it should be there. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.{Psalm 94:19} YOU SIMPLY CANNOT UNDERSTAND IT. Meaning that it’s unfathomable how there could be trouble or anxiety, and at the same time, have a peace. I’m sitting her typing with a smile on my face, having experience that peace that God has given me that transcends all understanding. It’s such peace that it guards our hearts {which are susceptible to anxious feelings} and our minds {which are susceptible to anxious thoughts}. All this through Christ Jesus. I can’t tell you how powerful it is to experience that.

Just typing out is such a reminder to me that with the Lord, you and I can have peace. We do not have to be anxious because he loves us. He cares for us. He wants us to imagine a peace that transcends all understanding. We can cast our cares on Him.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7

Have you ever experienced the peace that only comes from the Lord?

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