If you are anything like me, you will concede that there has been a time or two (or fifty) when you’ve allowed worry to creep in and occupy space in your mind. Despite your best efforts, a nagging doubt or crippling uncertainty has woven itself into the fabric of your thoughts and you’ve questioned, if only to yourself, whether the Lord actually hears your prayers. Sure, you’ve thought, He’s answered countless prayers before, but now, this time is somehow different. I really need Him to move on my behalf and, if He doesn’t, I don’t know what I’ll do. It’s a frightening condition as you find yourself torn between a worrisome dichotomy: your carnal man’s insistence that God won’t versus your spiritual man’s assurance that God will. On more occasions than I care to admit, carnality has been the victor, albeit temporarily.
What I have found is that God responds to our absolute belief and trust in Him; He responds to our faith, and without faith it is impossible to please the Lord. Faith and worry cannot co-exist; they are mutually exclusive. Where there is faith, there can be no doubt. Where there is doubt, faith is conspicuously absent. You either believe or you don’t.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” --- Phil 4:6-7 (NKJV)
In this familiar passage of Scripture, we uncover many powerful truths that are as potent today as they were when Paul penned the message. Be anxious for nothing; that is, don’t worry and don’t fret about anything. Instead, go before the Father in humble, earnest prayer and make your requests known. And, in all things, be thankful; He has already performed many great works for us and we should always have a spirit of gratitude. When we do this, He has promised to grant us “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding.” I know that to be true.
Sometimes, we don’t get the thing or things for which we’ve petitioned God, and that, I am learning, is okay. In fact, it is much better than okay. I have discovered that when God says “no”, He is leaving the portal open through which an even bigger and greater blessing may flow. And what a wonderful view it is to look back and see the hand of God in a situation you thought you had all figured out. I am so thankful that He didn’t give me everything I thought I wanted. It turns out that what I mistook for a “No” was really a “Hold on, I’ve got something much better for you!” Glory to God!
There is just one problem, however: when we don’t get what we think we want from God, we may find ourselves feeling a sense of failure and disappointment, but that doesn’t have to be so. Remember that “peace of God” we just talked about? God is faithful to grant us that peace when we trust Him. It allows us to understand that God knows what’s best and we can rest assured that “all things work together for good to those who love God…” So, we don’t have to be discouraged when life’s disappointments threaten to rob us of our peace. For our Lord stands guard at the doors of our hearts and minds, protecting our peace and helping us to rest in Him.
Isn’t it wonderful knowing that whatever cares we have, whatever our problems may be, great or small, we need only go to God in prayer and He will surely work everything out? If there is something or someone that is robbing you of your peace right now, I challenge you to pray about it. Turn it all over to the Father in prayer and trust Him with the outcome. He has an excellent track record and you will not be disappointed!