When your mind is racing with fear and every possible doomsday scenario is flashing before you, the last thing you want to hear is: ‘Be calm. Don’t worry. Don’t be anxious. Just pray.’ Sadly, there are days in our lives when verses from the Bible almost seem to mock us. When we are in the thick of it we can have flashes of angry unbelief. We can read the most beautiful verses that should reassure us and provide comfort, but right then, those verses are just too much to take.

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 comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

When I secretly resent verses like these, what’s wrong: the verses or me? Me! Either I am far too attached or too entangled with something in this life; or, I have lost the joyful reality of experiencing God each day in my life. Perhaps both. Or, it could be a third reality: blind-sided by an overwhelming trial and experiencing an unspeakable loss.

When the Apostle Paul was bobbing in the Mediterranean or was being stripped for a brutal lashing, do you think he ever had a surge of sudden fear or an anxious moment? More than likely, he had his moments.

Paul was not advocating careless or lackadaisical living in the verse above. A Christian should never be anything less than diligent and vigilant. In another place, Paul clearly condemns any Christian who, for no good reason, fails to work and to make provision for his family. (1Timothy 5:8)

Often, we put ourselves through a great deal of misery and anxiety, wrestling with some great matter. Human reasoning only greases the slide that causes us to slip into despair at a recklessly fast pace. In our darkness, feeling our backs are up against the wall, we collapse in His Presence. That’s when we start looking up.

An amazing thing happens. We start to pray. We spread out the complex circumstances before the Lord. The old heart stops pounding. We start thanking the Lord for His goodness to us in the past. We thank Him for even bothering to listen to our present concerns. We start appreciating that we (so unworthy) have an audience with the Absolute Sovereign of the Universe. “Why me?”

We acknowledge in His Presence that He knows best and we refresh ourselves in the knowledge of His present and eternal goodness. We also get a glimpse again of His omnipotence and find comfort in the fact that He can intervene in our circumstances if it is His good will.

The anxiety is replaced with peace. Thanksgiving flows from your heart. Others, who find out about your circumstances, wonder how you can ever smile despite the pain of circumstances. Then you say – “It’s nothing but the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension and human understanding. I would have no peace in time or in eternity had it not been for my blessed Saviour, my Lord Jesus Christ.”

Child of God, is it time to spend an hour of quietness alone with the Lord in prayer and His Word? Don’t you know from the past, it always makes a huge a difference!

Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.

Warmly in Christ
Peter Ramsay

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