Happy 2015 everyone!!!! 🙂 May God be greatly glorified and accomplish His every good purpose in your lives and in your family this year.
A wife asked me to address this issue. I would love for other readers to contribute their perspectives, godly wisdom, and insights, as well. Sometimes hearing a different person’s description of a concept can trigger a lightbulb moment. (This is a post that I believe could bless everyone – even those with very difficult circumstances.)
God’s Word commands us to not worry, but to trust God.
Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. Psalm 55:22
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:4-9
I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11b-13
Psalm is a fantastic book where the various psalmists describe being in various problems and having many different kinds of troubles and then they change from describing their enemies and their circumstances to praising God and trusting Him. That would be a great book to study if someone wants to learn to “cast his/her cares on the Lord.”
When we trust God with our concerns, our worries, our problems, and our anxieties –
1. We acknowledge the reality of the problem. I personally like to write down the problem in great detail in my journal. I write down all of my concerns, fears, beliefs, thoughts, and the things I keep saying to myself about the problem.
Here is an example from Psalm 55:
Listen to my prayer, O God,
do not ignore my plea;
hear me and answer me.
My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught
because of what my enemy is saying,
because of the threats of the wicked;
for they bring down suffering on me
and assail me in their anger.
My heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death have fallen on me.
Fear and trembling have beset me;
horror has overwhelmed me.
I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest.
I would flee far away
and stay in the desert;c
I would hurry to my place of shelter,
far from the tempest and storm.” Psalm 55:1-8
2. We mentally lay our burdens before God’s throne. I like to picture myself laying an issue on the altar before God, or laying something or someone at His feet. And then – I don’t pick it back up again. Sometimes I trace my hands (palms up) and list my concerns and fears on the fingers of the hands I drew. And I imagine laying my burdens before God. I mentally picture the whole process of me holding my heavy burden and then me laying it down and trusting Him with it.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.… Matthew 11:28-29
As for me, I call to God,
and the Lord saves me.
Evening, morning and noon
I cry out in distress,
and he hears my voice.
He rescues me unharmed
from the battle waged against me,
even though many oppose me.
God, who is enthroned from of old,
who does not change—
he will hear them and humble them,
because they have no fear of God. Psalm 55:16-19
Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.
But you, God, will bring down the wicked
into the pit of decay;
the bloodthirsty and deceitful
will not live out half their days.
But as for me, I trust in you. Psalm 55:22-23
3. We praise God. We praise God’s miracles, provision, and blessings from the past in our lives, in the lives of other believers, and in His Word.
Praise the Lord.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord. Psalm 150:1-6
4. We thank God for all that He has done for us, for all that He is doing, and for all that He will do.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. I Thessalonians 5:18
Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Ephesians 5:20
5. We have faith in His ability to handle the situation and we have faith that His wisdom is infinitely higher and greater than our own.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead. By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.”For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:1-6 (Hebrews 11 is “the faith chapter.”)
6. We focus on the sovereignty of God. This is how we can have peace that passes all understanding. We keep our eyes on Him and realize that He is infinitely bigger than our problems. We look forward with great anticipation to all the good that He will accomplish through this painful trial.
Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases. Psalm 115:3
All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” Daniel 4:35
Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ Isaiah 46:9-10
7. We focus on the fact that the Holy Spirit is praying for us and that Jesus is praying for us. We know that God is ultimately sovereign over each situation and we cling to His promise to use all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. Romans 8:26-30 (The whole book of Romans is a wonderful study of the doctrine of salvation and sanctification and helps us to understand the finished work of Christ on our behalf and how we can live in the power of God’s Spirit now.)
but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever. Hebrews 7:24-28 (The whole book of Hebrews would also be a fantastic study about how Christ is superior to the angels, to Moses, to the Levitical priests, and to the law – and how what He did was more than sufficient to cleanse us of our sins and to make us right with God and to empower us to live in His power.)
8. We humble ourselves before God and ask Him to reveal any sinful thoughts or wrong motives in our hearts.
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
so that sinners will turn back to you.
Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
you who are God my Savior,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
Open my lips, Lord,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
My sacrifice, O God, isb a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise. Psalm 51:10-17
9. We reaffirm that Jesus is our Lord and that we are fully submitted to His Lordship. We allow His Spirit to be in control of our hearts, thoughts, and lives.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7
be filled with the Spirit, Ephesians 5:18b
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Galatians 5:16
10. We commit to walking in obedience to Him to the best of our current knowledge and understanding, longing to grow to be more and more like Jesus.
If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. John 14:15
Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves Me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and We will come to them and make Our home with them. Anyone who does not love Me will not obey My teaching…” John 14:23-24a
for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” I Peter 1:16
11. We rest in the peace of God, holding the results of each situation loosely, trusting God to know what is best, anticipating all that He will do. We set our mind on good things.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:4-8
Some additional steps to trusting God and not worrying –