Don't worry about anything;- Philippians 4:6a (NLT)
Now sometimes that's rather easy to do but at other times this seems nearly impossible. Okay, it is more possible for some of us to do this than it is for others. My mother is a true optimist. She never seems to be concerned about anything and is certain that it will all work out. I would call myself an optimist as well but I think I am more of an optimistic realist. To me that means that I take an honest look at a situation, acknowledge that things could be bad but recognize that God can either change the outcome or help me deal with it. To my mother, that means I am a pessimist.
The cure for worry is to do what the rest of this verse says:
instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.- Phillipians 4:6b
When we are faced with "challenges", we tend to do a couple of things. We may either worry about them, ignore them hoping they will go away or try to figure out how we will conquer the challenge. Do you notice that God is absent from all of these actions? Rather than taking them to God in prayer, placing them in His hands, we are trying to handle it on our own. This is true whether we stew about the problem or pretend it isn't there. We are still trying to handle it on our own and that's where we make our mistake.
We are given a formula on how to deal with our "challenges" in life.
- Pray about everything.
- Tell God what you need (not what you think you want but what you actually need).
- Thank Him for all he has done (and what He is doing and will continue to do).
When we do these three things:
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.- Philippians 4:7 (NLT)
Paul wraps it all up when he writes:
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing.- Philippians 4:8-9 (NLT)
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.
Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing.
Then the God of peace will be with you.