God is Near! God is working! I must trust!

17 04 2018

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Phillippians 4:6-7

It’s not a secret that I suffer from anxiety.  I’ve been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder for the past four years, in which I’ve been medicated and working through my anxieties.  Prior to that, I lived my life with severe OCD and obsessional tendencies, I operated my life based on those anxieties and thoughts.

So, my time with God today dealt with this very familiar scriptures.  When I first figured out that I had anxieties, some well-meaning friends plastered these verses all over my life.  I understand that they were meaning well, but it didn’t seem to really apply to my life or my struggles, because of course, it was different from what I was experiencing.  I’ll be honest and admit that I grew to resent this particular set of scriptures, because people were throwing it around as a band-aid.

I pray often that the Lord will let my eyes not be blinded, my ears to be ready to listen, and my heart open for a new word from the Word.  The Lord provided today, and I’d like to share with you what he provided.

We are Commanded to Pray in every situation when we are feeling anxious.
When we pray, we are asking and we are thanking God.  It’s essential to thank God and to live a life of gratitude and a life of thankfulness, because honestly, if we are not thankful and we don’t appreciate what we have, God may not give us what we need or what we ask for.  And when we ask, we can be certain that God hears us and our prayers.  Often, when I am feeling anxious, I’ll confess that my first response is not in prayer.  It’s to dig myself deeper into anxiety.  It becomes a merry-go-round of anxiety and anxious thoughts and then I feel sorry for myself, and so on and so on.  It’s not a healthy scenario, in short.

When we pray, God will provide the peace of God to guard our hearts and minds.
If I would pray, I would see the peace of God change things.  If I would pray first, then God would give me peace from the get-go instead of later, when I finally start to pray for him.  Now that peace does not come from the world, or the situation changing, it comes from God changing us in our hearts and in our minds.  It comes from God working in our hearts.

How can this be?
When I look at a particular set of scriptures, I always like to look at the context, and the very last fragment of verse 5 says, “The Lord is Near.”  He’s not far.  He’s not ignorant.  He is near.  He knows what’s going on, and he knows how we’re feeling.  When I’m having a bad day, or something, I appreciate it when someone is near to me.  Even if it’s just to sit there in silence, with them not knowing what to say, just to have them near is helpful.  It calms me and it allows me to vent to them or talk about what’s going on.  It’s just useful to be around others when we’re hurting.  In the same way, I am to take comfort in the fact that the Lord is near to me.  I’m so grateful that God is near me.  Aren’t you?  That means he knows my tears, she feels my pain.  How blessed is it, to know that I’m not alone!  To know that I am taken care of!

THAT  is why our peace surpasses all understanding.  It’s not what we do, or what I do.  It’s all because I know that God is near to me.  That Jehovah is still helping to provide.  That the I AM is there, and is making the presence of God known.

Because God is near, I can be assured that God is working, God is moving.  Time isn’t simply just wasting away, there is activity.  There are two kinds of activity that can be possible.

  1.  God working in the situation to make it better.  God can change the hearts of men and the situations I face.  He can make it so that my opposition is gone.  She can change the hearts of people.  Or remove the situation altogether.
  2. God working in my heart and in my life.  And making that peace that surpasses all understanding to be the true status of me.

But it all starts with what?

My actions.