31 Jesus-Benefits: No Worries!

“Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks. And God’s peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Day 16 of Write31Days and here’s something very precious:

Peace.

You’ll see all sorts of books about dealing with anxiety or overcoming worry, but the formula’s right there: Pray about everything. If we’re worrying too much, we’re probably praying too little (I say ‘We’ because I’m telling myself as well as you). My friend Kate once told me the verses below about Jesus leading us into the path of peace and I’ve always remembered that.

“Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace” (Luke 1:78-79).

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A-Z: Questions

Q is for questions, and I want to tell you about a time I asked God some questions during one week, and didn’t tell anyone about them.  The questions were these:  1.  Is fear a sin? And 2.  What does yoke mean?  I knew the Bible talked about Christians not being yoked with people who didn’t believe, but what did that mean exactly?  Did it mean I shouldn’t have close relationships with non-Christians – shouldn’t spend much time with them?

 

When I got to church on Sunday night, it wasn’t our pastor preaching, but a man who was at the time a prison chaplain.  He gave his sermon a title:  “The Sin of Fear and Worry”, and guess what he slotted somewhere into the middle of it?  “Yoke means to become someone’s disciple.”  To become someone’s disciple – to follow their ideas in other words.  God really does hear our questions and answer them!

 

Is there a question you’d like to ask God?  Why not ask it this week and see what He does?

Let Go, Hold On

Do you ever read articles and listen to sermons, and one person says one thing, one person says another and you end up totally confused?  Or is it just me?

 

I listened today to someone saying God is an abundant God – a King with finance, healing and so on under His authority.  Then I read about someone else, who gave away 15 boxes of clothes, including a pair of heeled shoes she found it hard to part with, because she felt God was convicting her to have less.  So which is He:  A God of abundance or a God of necessity?

 

Another example:  I heard someone say he looked at people living their ordinary lives and feeling small, and he saw a cage around them and wanted to grab hold of the bars and set them free.  Then I read about how sometimes there’s a reason God doesn’t move us out of situations.  So what does He want:  For us to let go and move on, or persevere and hold on?

 

I think the first question’s easier to answer than the second.  “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.  Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share” – 1 Timothy 6:17-18.  Be generous, but don’t forget God loves you and wants to be generous to you, too.  He is ok with you enjoying things, as long as things aren’t your priority.

 

Now to the tricky one:  If you see the situation you’re in as a cage, do you ask to be freed from it, or to stay as you are in hope that the way you live will speak to someone’s heart?  If you’re unsure, can I give you my answer?  Take … one … day … at … a … time – something God told me a few years ago and reminded me of again today.  It’s a great piece of advice.  Sometimes we can get so worked-up about what we think we should be asking for, it can rob us of our joy in the present.  Didn’t Jesus tell us not to worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:34)?  Just like parents don’t tell children everything when they’re too young to understand, maybe we’re not ready and God needs us to wait … but let’s enjoy the waiting.