Winning Over Worry and Anxiety, Part III
"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."1
I have read how, in 1929, business tycoon J.C. Penney was in the hospital because of his severe anxiety. One night he was sure he was going to die, so he wrote farewell letters to his wife and son.
But he survived the night, and hearing singing the next morning in the chapel, felt drawn to go in. A group was singing, "God will take care of you," after which followed Bible reading and prayer.
Penney said, "Suddenly something happened. I can't explain it. It was a miracle. I felt as if I had been instantly lifted out of the darkness of a dungeon into warm brilliant sunlight. I felt as if I had been transported from hell to paradise. I felt the power of God as I had never felt it before.
"I realized then that I alone was responsible for all my troubles. I knew that God with his love was there to help me. From that day to this, my life has been free from worry. The most dramatic and glorious minutes of my life were those I spent in that chapel that morning."2
Most causes of anxiety and worry lie within ourselves. At best they are triggered by outside circumstances. Only when we admit to and resolve these causes, are we free to fully surrender our worries and anxieties to God and experience his peace.
Whether this peace comes instantly or over a period of time doesn't matter. The important truth to remember is that God is always there. His love and power are constant and available to all. As we reach out to Him through the fog of our worry and damaged emotions, we discover that He is waiting to help us if only we will be totally open and honest with Him, respond to His love, and give Him the chance to help us.
Every day, visualize Jesus being with you and opening yourself to receive His love, joy and peace. After resolving the causes of worry and anxiety as spelled out in Wednesday and Thursday's Daily Encounters, the ultimate source of worry-free living is found in learning to trust God fully for every detail and in every circumstance of our life.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, again today I commit and trust my life and every circumstance in which I find myself to You. I choose to trust You regardless of my feelings, and please help my feelings to catch up with my choice to trust You. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT).
2. S.I. McMillen, None of These Diseases (Westwood, N.J.: Fleming Revell Co., 1963), p.98.