by Rick Warren — January 1, 2023
From Living in the Goodness of God
“Do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV)
When you are worried, don’t repress it, suppress it, or deny it. Instead, confess it. Talk to God about it.
If you try to push down worries, you’re going to get sick. It’s like shaking a can of soda, and then putting it in the freezer. It’s going to explode!
The Bible explains what it looks like to confess your worries to God: “Do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 ESV).
What is the peace that passes understanding? It’s when you’re at peace but you have no logical, rational reason for it. You just lost your job, but somehow you’re at peace about it. Why? The Lord is your Shepherd. Or you just heard the dreaded word “cancer” from the doctor. For some reason, you have peace about the situation. Why? The Lord is your Shepherd.
Peace that passes understanding doesn’t mean you’re not sad or frustrated or confused. It means that you trust God to take care of you. You know he is in control and is working all things for good and will lead you when things seem dark. So you just keep giving your worries to him because he can handle it.
Once you’ve given your worries to God, you need to fill your mind with something else—the truth of God’s Word. One way to do this is through meditation.
If you know how to worry, you know how to meditate. Meditation is simply focusing on one thought over and over. In fact, you can take the habits you use when you worry—focusing your mind on something—and instead focus on God’s Word.
Start with a small portion of Scripture. First, read the passage slowly, perhaps out loud a few times, placing emphasis on different words or phrases. Second, reflect on the truth of God’s character and on the context of the text within God’s story. Third, respond to God in light of what you’ve just read; this may be quietly or out loud. Fourth, rest in the Word of God, listening for what God has to say through the Scripture.
Would you rather have your worries or God’s Word running through your head? Do something about it today: Confess your worry, and then fill your mind with God’s truth that is found in the Bible.