Exchange Your Worry for Peace

by

From the Series: The Gift Exchange

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… and the most stressful.

  • We are busy, so we ask, how am I going to fit it all in?
  • We are overextended so we ask, how am I going to pay for it all?
  • We are reminded of our deepest hurts so we ask, how can I just get through?

Jesus addresses worry head-on in one of the most important sermons ever preached – The Sermon on the Mount – so it must be an important topic when it comes to our relationship with God.

Clarification: There is a difference between worry and caution. We should be wary of dangerous situations. There is also a difference between worry and wisdom. Being conservative in your decision-making doesn’t mean you’re worrying. It might just mean you’re wise.

Another clarification: We’re also not talking about certain kinds of anxiety that have to do with the trauma that you’ve been through, or perhaps a struggle with depression. We’re talking about a kind of worry that we could avoid.

Let’s define worry…

Worry is allowing your mind to dwell on potentially negative outcomes beyond our actual control.

And Jesus addressed it this way…

Matthew 6:25-34 NRSV

[25] “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? [26] Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? [27] And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? [28] And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, [29] yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. [30] But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you-you of little faith? [31] Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ [32] For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. [33] But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. [34] “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Jesus says several things about worry…

  • Worry is unnatural – nature doesn’t worry.
  • Worry is unhelpful – it doesn’t actually change anything.
  • Worry is unchristian – it reflects a lack of faith.

How to Give God Your Worry and Experience His Peace

1. Let Jesus be King.

Ask yourself this question…

What deserves the most prominence in my thought life?

Hint: It’s Jesus.

And when you put his kingdom first and make God’s kingdom purposes your primary concern, you don’t have to worry about a lot of other things in your life.

2. Live a day at a time.

God gives you enough power and strength for today, but not for tomorrow. He doesn’t equip you to prevent all the future situations you’re going to go through. He gives you the strength to deal with what comes today.

3. Lean on the faithfulness of God.

That is, talk to God about it and let him remind you of his promises. Which of course means, studying his promises regularly.

Philippians 4:6 NRSV

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

There are two things Paul says to do with worry…

  1. Tell God about it – take it to him in prayer.
  2. Thank God for what he has done.

Gratitude re-focuses our minds on the goodness and the gifts of God rather than the problems around us.

Philippians 4:7 NRSV

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

You can dwell on your problems, or you can dwell on God’s promises.

When you let Jesus be king, live a day at a time, and lean on God’s faithfulness, he will guard your heart and your mind with his peace.


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