Last night as I lay in bed trying to sleep, a worry thought popped into my head. I immediately prayed about it because it wasn’t something I could control. Then I felt a pit in my stomach as I realized that it was the first time I really prayed that day. I prayed in church and before my meals…but worry was what prompted me to stop and talk to God. God wants us to go to Him with our worries, but it shouldn’t be the primary reason we go to Him.
Thomas Christianson, a pastor and writer for RELEVANT Magazine, addresses this in his article How Worry Warps Your View of God. Christianson states,
“Trusting in God doesn’t mean we have to love the situations we find ourselves in… But the question is whether those things loom larger in my mind than God’s goodness and His sovereignty (the fact that He is in control and that He cares about me.) Because if my issues and problems are bigger than God in my own eyes, they will have a bigger influence in my life than God does.”
What do your actions show you about who you think God is? God is in control, He is involved, and most importantly He is near. Our God is a God who is present and active. As Christianson relays,
“We serve a God who has invited us in to His plans of making all things new. He says we have a part to play in that process. Rather than accepting everything the way it is, we can push back against injustice and heartache in our world.”
In order to keep the right perspective when we do this; Christianson says it’s best if we follow a formula that Paul followed: “Pray + Thank = Peace.”
Prayer shouldn’t only be about worry and uncertainty; it should be about God’s character and His strength. God may or may not “fix” your situation the way you would like it to be fixed, but as Christianson conveys “He promises that He will strengthen us as we seek His will both in and through our lives.”
Christianson urges Christians to remember times when God has brought you out of hopeless circumstances. He continues, “Thank Him for what He’s done, and choose to exercise faith by thanking Him in advance for what He will do.”
A lot of the time we’re willing to trust God if He’ll tell us the plan in exchange…we’re ok following the steps as long as we know what lies ahead. Christianson expresses, “Jesus says that His peace goes beyond all understanding, so our ability to stop worrying isn’t linked to our ability to figure stuff out… In fact, our uncertainty about the future is a chance to trust God.”
Peace comes with understanding Who is in control, not by understanding why things happen the way they do. The Who is more important than the why. Crosswalk.com Contributor Kelly Balarie echoes this sentiment in her article Worry No More:
“Thanks be to you Lord Jesus; you have all authority. You rule on high. No one can take you down. No situation can overcome you. You are the definition of power, the force of love and the fixer of all things. I don’t have to take the world on my shoulders because you took the cross on yours. I bow down. I humble myself and let go of prideful worry that fools me into thinking that I can actually do something to change my situation. Again, Lord, it is all about you."
In conclusion Christianson encourages, “Make plans, create strategies for life, but in the midst of it all, draw strength from your trust in God no matter what comes your way. Pray, give thanks and be at peace.”
You can read Thomas Christianson’s full article at RELEVANT Magazine.
Liz Kanoy is an Editor for Crosswalk.com.
Publication date: August 31, 2015