The Opposite of Worry
Jesus taught in Matthew 6:26, “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Perhaps if we could understand the song birds, we could hear them say something like the following:
“Said the Robin to the Sparrow…
‘I should really like to know
Why these anxious human beings
Rush about and hurry so.’
Said the Sparrow to the Robin,
‘Friend, I think that it must be
That they have no Heavenly Father
Such as cares for you and me.’”
Of course, the Lord cares so much for you – much more than the creatures of His creation! May God help us to not let “worry” define and destroy our lives.
If anyone could have had a “good reason” to worry – it could have been the Apostle Paul. He had many troubles that he endured. From declining health, to the government wanting him dead, to even having Christians fighting each other and even fighting against him, Paul had much potential to worry.
Philippians 4:6-7 declares, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
“Be Careful” is a phrase that means “to be anxious about.” It is a Bible term for worry.
I like how one person wrote: “Let us not bankrupt our todays by paying interest on the regrets of yesterday and borrowing in advance the troubles of tomorrow.”
Synonyms for “Worry” include “concern, apprehension, and fear.” We fear much and worry a lot – it is natural. Things we worry about may include:
- Will by health decline or what if I acquire a disease?
- What type of relationship will I have with family members in the future?
- Will I ever get married?
- Does he/she like me?
- Where will I go to college?
- What type of house will I have one day?
- Where will I live?
- Can I get enough money for this vehicle?
- Can I really pay these bills?
- Wil I get this promotion?
“Don’t worry, be happy” may seem like a helpful statement, but it is inaccurate. The opposite of worry is not happiness. The opposite of worry is peace. While worry is natural, to have peace is supernatural.
Understand the peace of God is the presence of God. Most people never have victory over worry because they are attempting to live life apart from God. Even Christians struggle sometimes with leaving each burden with the Lord can casting their cares to Him. When we know His presence, and let that guide us, we will experience peace of mind and heart.
How can I have the “peace of God” in my life?
Be Sure to Pray. Philippians 4:6 says our response to worry should be prayer. There are 3 terms used for prayer in this verse.
- Prayer – This is a general term used in our addressing the Lord, and seeking Him. It implies worship. Perhaps each of us should take more time to “Adore” and show love to God in prayer.
- Supplication – This is a term for special and detailed requests. It means to ask a petition.
- Thanksgiving – Gratefulness is missing in our prayers sometimes. This term means we should have grateful language in our talk with the Lord. Instead of “demanding” and asking, why not pause in part of your prayer moments and be thankful to the Lord?
Be Sure to Check Your Mind. As verse 7 indicates, the peace of God can “keep our hearts and minds.” Righting thinking goes a long way in the search for peace of mind and victory over worry. Bible teacher, Dr. Warren Wiersbe wrote that only 8% of the things people worry about happen. That means 92% of the things people worry about will not or cannot really happen. How much time, energy, and thoughts are wasted on worry? Perhaps too much to count. We control our minds by thinking of “Good things.” Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Replace worrisome thoughts with the peaceful thoughts that God gives us in the above verse.
Be Sure to Check Your Actions. Philippians 4:9 goes on to describe the third way to replace worry with peace: “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”
Do what you know is right according to the Scriptures. Paul cites the Bible teaching he gave and the Godly lifestyle he demonstrated as a good example for the Christians in Philippi to follow. Are your actions matching and coordinating with your prayers and your thinking? Our actions and what we “do” should complement the prayers we offer and the thoughts we think.
If we are not doing right, and know that we are disobeying God in a certain area, then we cannot have peace in our heart. As Christians, we have “peace with God” continually in salvation, but we may not be at peace in our heart because of disobedience. Similar to how a small child may shy away from a parent when they know they are doing wrong. They are still the son or daughter of their parent, but are ashamed of their actions and may even avoid being around the parent. They have “guilt.” They know they should be doing the right thing, but have succumbed to a temptation to do the wrong thing.
Take a student for example. A test is coming and instead of studying and preparing for the test, he plays games on facebook, texts people all night, and does things other than study. When the test is presented to him, he begins to worry because he did not do the things he was supposed to be doing.
Take another student. She hears about an upcoming test and takes her books home to study. She memorizes, writes out the main subjects of the test, develops a study guide, and puts much time and effort into preparing for the test. When she is given the test, she has peace in her heart because she did what she was supposed to do. Humanly speaking, she did everything possible to be ready and a lasting result is – peace in her heart when tested. The same is true in our Christian life.
When we do what we pray with thoughtfulness, are controlling our minds with right thoughts, and are doing what we are supposed to be doing, we can replace worry with supernatural peace.