Does this sound like you? I know Jesus Christ and that he died to save me from my sin. I believe he is the Son of God. I have accepted his gift of forgiveness. I know that the only way to heaven is through His blood. But…
I still feel like I am in bondage to worry, anxiety, and fear. What is wrong with me?!
Many Christians take that first, all-important step of salvation in Jesus Christ but still spend years struggling with issues such as these–unable to live in true victory and peace.
If this is you, ask yourself these questions:
*Have I truly given all of my life over to God? Have I placed everything at His feet–even my precious children? There comes a time when all parents have to say, “God, I give this child to you. I can’t protect them from all the perils and pitfalls of this world. It is too much for me. But…it’s not too much for you! And you love them with such an unfathomable love that you want the absolute best for them; in fact, only you know the path that will take them there.” Placing our children’s lives in the Savior’s care can greatly reduce fear and worry.
Besides placing our children at His feet, we must also place our marriages, our health, and yes, even our day-to-day survival there, as well. The Bible says that God brilliantly clothed the lilies of the field…how much more will he love and take care of us?! Are you worried about your finances? God’s got you. His desire is that you will seek him for wisdom in that area and trust His provision.There is nothing that will happen to you in your life that God did not allow. He knew it was coming. He knows how to handle it. And…he has a plan to grow you through it!
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these…so do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’…but seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6: 25-33 (NIV)
*Do I believe that prayer is powerful and effective and that God actually hears my prayers? Prayer is real, people! I and many others have seen it work. The Bible tells us to pray believing that we will receive. God wants us to go to Him with every need and petition, believing, in faith, that he will respond. As you have probably heard before, he may not say “yes”. He may say “no” or possibly, “wait a bit”, but… he will hear and answer. Knowing that I can place every worry, problem, issue and circumstance in the Father’s capable hands and then wipe my hands of it, gives me great peace.
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16 (NIV)
*Am I trying to exist in a vacuum, without the friendship, love and support of fellow believers? There is power and strength when believers gather together for encouragement and support. We are meant to exist in fellowship with one another. A great place to do that is in the church. There are Sunday school classes, Bible studies, women’s groups, prayer groups and home groups that are there for just that purpose. Our church even has a quilting group that meets weekly and does wonderful projects to send to people in need around the world. Each week they sew while enjoying Christian fellowship with other women. Find a place where you can get regular encouragement from other believers. It will really improve the quality of your life and help to reduce stress and worry.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another–and all the more as you see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)
*Do I understand that God is ultimately in control of all things? The outcome of my life, or my children’s lives, or my spouse’s life does not depend on me making all the right choices. As Christians, we do the best we can as we seek wisdom and guidance from the Lord. Then we trust Him with the results. Many times we can’t understand why God allows certain things to happen in our lives or the lives of our children but, God knows. He has a plan and His ways are higher than our ways. That certainly takes the burden off of us, doesn’t it? I am a strong, organized, planner. More than once I have diligently worked a plan that ended up going off the rails. After many years, God taught me that often the best plan of all is to let go and let God…or sometimes to submit to my Christian husband and wait, as he hears from God as to how to proceed. (That can be a tough one for strong women married to laid-back men!)
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'” Psalm 91:1-2 (NIV)
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” Ephesians 1:18-19 (NIV)
As Christians we are meant to live a victorious, purposeful and joy-filled life. Satan, however, desires to sabotage that life by keeping us in bondage to worry, anxiety and fear. With God’s help we can learn to live as the redeemed children of God that we are–empowered by the Holy Spirit, encouraged by the body of Christ (the church), and at peace in the arms of a loving and all-powerful God.
“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Isaiah 55:12 (NIV)