From Worry to Worship – Part 2

Slipping Back to Pick Up Our Worries –
It’s morning and you’ve just opened your groggy eyes with thoughts of a fresh start. You see your problem of worry and you know how you should deal with it. You kneel beside your bed and empty every worry from your mind, handing it over to your heavenly Father. Then you jump up and start the day, worry free – perhaps a smile brightens your face. The day wears on and you find your mind wandering to the things you have to do, the places you have to go and the people in your life. Ever so slowly you slip back and pick up one of the worries that you handed over this morning. By the end of the day you’re back where you started – tired, stressed, and exhausted from the load that you’re carrying. Perhaps this hasn’t ever happened to you and you can’t relate, but let me tell you, it’s frustrating to say the least.

Frustration –
Even if we’ve learned how to deal with our worry, anxiety and fear, it doesn’t mean the battle is over. Getting ourselves into the mindset of trust – rather than worry – is a constant process that takes time and patience. Becoming frustrated or discouraged is so incredibly easy to do as we look at our struggles from day to day. We may even doubt our faith and wonder how a person with such conflict in their thoughts can be a true Christian.

“Sometimes you think that you are not a Christian when you have trouble, but I should very much doubt whether you are a Christian at all if you did not have trouble.” -Corrie ten Boom

God doesn’t expect you to be perfect in everything you do, but He does expect you to strive after perfection and that’s a fight against your own sin nature. It is not the fact that we mess up, but the fact that we realize our mistakes, learn from them and move on.

From Mistakes to Opportunities –
God has this amazing ability to take our mistakes and use them for His glory.

“We will see more and more that we are chosen not because of our ability, but because of His power that will be demonstrated in our not being able.”

Don’t get discouraged! When we are faithless, still He remains faithful and through our struggles He can teach us the lessons we need to learn. However, these lessons are much easier learned if we are looking for them. People that look for a problem in their situation and people that look for an opportunity in their situation, both find what they are looking for. Are you looking at your situation for the opportunities it contains or are you simply seeing the problems in it?

One Day at a Time –
This battle with worry may very well last our whole lives. Honestly, that’s discouraging to think about, but do not quit now as you look at this seemingly endless cycle. Life comes one day at a time – do not carry tomorrow’s burdens along with today’s. Remember that you do not face this battle alone – your strength is in the Lord.

The Change That Comes With Trust –
When we surrender our worries to the hands of God it will change the way that we see our situation. As I said before, worry distracts us from doing the work of God. When we are at peace with the problems in our lives we are less likely to miss our opportunities to share God’s love with others.

I have always marveled at the peace of missionaries that minister in dangerous places. I wonder how they can concentrate on sharing the gospel, when the people around them are mocking and threatening them. How can they see the opportunities to tell of God’s love, when their food is scarce and their money is tight? Aren’t they worried they won’t be provided for? Aren’t they fearful of the danger they’re in? I do not doubt that these people may get caught up in worrying at some point or another (we’re all human, after all), but God has laid a burden on their hearts to share His word and they know that – as Hudson Taylor said – “God’s work, done in God’s way, will never lack God’s supply.” With the knowledge that they are serving God, they have peace – even in the worst of storms – and they are able to take advantage of each opportunity to serve Him more.

Peace Comes Through Prayer –

“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.” -Philippians 4:6-7

Often we underestimate the value of prayer. It is extremely important that we take time to be by ourselves and talk to God and just as important that we take time to pray with others and ask them to pray for us. However, we get the idea that God only wants us to pray about the things that matter most. This is not true; if a worry is too small to be turned into a prayer it is too small to be a worry. In other words, if you are truly worried about it, take it to God. The Lord knows us – He knows our thoughts, our words, our actions. God has been providing for and protecting people since the beginning, do you think you are any exception? When we trust God with all of our worry, anxiety and fear, that is when we find that peace that surpasses all understanding.

When God Answers “No” –
The tears slipped down my face unchecked and I begged for the Lord to take away an illness that had troubled me for several months. This hadn’t been the first time I had brought this request to my Father, but now it is months later and, honestly, I still don’t feel well. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether the Lord is simply saying, “wait” or whether He’s truly saying, “no.” However, now I’ve learned to pray a different prayer. I simply ask God to help me find an opportunity in this trouble to grow closer to Him and to be a display of His glory. I’m not sure when or if this illness will leave me. I know that the Lord is capable of taking it away, but I also know that He loves me and does what is best for me. It is astounding all of the things you can learn in the space of six months and just when I think I’ve learned enough, I realize there are so many more lessons awaiting my attention. My point of sharing this with you is that we only see our situation right at this moment and we cannot see our future. We’re anxious to be rid of the things that trouble us today, but God sees our future and He knows what we need for the road ahead. Instead of wondering why the Lord is allowing this pain, trust that He knows best and always remember to look for opportunities in this struggle.

“So often we pray and then fret anxiously, waiting for God to hurry up and do something. All the while God is waiting for us to calm down, so He can do something through us.” -Corrie ten Boom

It really is hard when God answers “no” to our prayers, but He doesn’t do it out of spite or personal pleasure. When the Lord denies our requests it is because He knows our needs and is preparing our hearts to serve Him better.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” -Proverbs 3:5-6

I Surrender All –
When we surrender our worries and begin to trust God with all of our lives, then our hearts and minds can completely focus on glorifying Him. Only the Lord is capable of transforming our fear into faith, our anxiety into adoration, and our worry into worship.

14 comments

  1. Joy S. says:

    PS. But again, I’ve been blessed with great mentors and solid, encouraging Christian friends in spite of everything. And I do listen to sermons and spend much time in prayer and in the Word.

    • Well, you will find me a very curious person by nature… I’m always asking questions… usually too much. lol
      I’m glad to know that despite your circumstances, the Lord has provided you with encouragers and mentors. If you’re interested, my dad posts the audio from his sermons on his blog and also writes a bit about them there as well, so if you’re looking for some sermons to listen to, he has lots of them. 🙂

      • Joy S. says:

        No worries, I am a curious person too. =)

        I was thinking just now how crazy it is (by human standards), the way the Lord works. But His ways are not our ways, and it’s really just sheer joy looking back and seeing Him take me the way He has. I think in the end, we will all find ourselves a little bewildered by our life-stories and the way the Lord’s been writing and working through them.

        I’ll check the sermons out, thanks. =) I have been deeply blessed and encouraged by George Grant’s sermons these past couple of months. You could download them for free on iTunes if you want. They are really insightful and encouraging. He, too, is a mentor of mine, though mostly through his speaking and writing; I’ve met him in person only once. =)

        • 🙂

          I was thinking on that same thing earlier this week. It really is amazing all that He has done. I see it so much in my life now. So many things that I fought so hard, only to discover their true benefit. And simply the way that He sends people into our lives (like you!:) to encourage and teach us. We definitely serve a very amazing God!

          I’ll check him out. 🙂 Every once in a while I can’t make it to church on a Sunday morning and so I’ll find some sermons and listen to them at home. Last time, I found three or four things on ligonier.org from one of my favorite teachers, R. C. Sproul. I’m so thankful for all of the online resources that are available when it comes to stuff like that! 🙂

          • Joy S. says:

            Amen and amen! You too encourage and teach me. I never thought this would happen when I first started blogging, but the Lord truly is amazing!

            I’m very grateful too. I’ll be checking out that site. =)

            But actually, I wanted to let you know that starting tomorrow, I have made a commitment not to read any blogs for a week. I will still be writing my own and answering comments of course, but encouraged as I am by all the writing the Lord has brought into my life, I feel unbalanced right now and need some more time to refocus. I just thought I should let you know. If you write anything this next week, I will be sure to check it out next week. =)

            Love.

  2. Joy S. says:

    Thanks, and your most welcome! =)

    I love Corrie ten Boom! I am familiar with many WW2 autobiographies from Dutch survivors, so when I read hers several years ago I thought I would come across much of the same. But her testimony actually became one of the catalysts for my God-search and finally my conversion a year later. =) I will definitely look the book up that you recommended.

    While we’re on the subject of books anyway, I’m currently reading “The Method of Grace” by John Flavel. His language is a bit old-fashioned, but the substance is SO worthwhile! If you haven’t already, I can definitely recommend you read this one. =)

    • I’ve heard of Flavel in the past (My dad tells me he’s great), but haven’t heard of The Method of Grace. I’ll definitely check that out. My dad is like the ultimate theology book guy, so if I ever want a good one to read, I check with him. If, when you come to the end of The Method of Grace, you’re pondering where to go next, I’m sure he could give you some pointers! 🙂 Which makes me wonder, how did you come upon these books? I mean, they’re not exactly on the top of the book list of your average Christian (sadly). Just curious 🙂

      And continuing on the topic of books, I’m working through the book Radical, by David Platt (I’ve mentioned it in a few blog posts). That is an amazing book! I honestly think every Christian should read it! 🙂

      • Joy S. says:

        =) Thanks! I will definitely ask if I want another theology book to read.

        How do I come upon these books? I’ve been blessed triply with a lifelong no-nonsense attitude to the literature I consume, with a passion for Truth the right way, and above all with a wonderful education and amazing mentors – and a really good friend who loves the Lord with all his heart and is always sure to encourage others on in the same, so even if I’m not looking for books he’ll sometimes send a link or a title my way. I’m deeply grateful for the grace in my life, and the way the Lord has brought just the right circumstances, people, and personality-traits into my life to equip me for His work.

        But that actually reminds me, you can find The Method of Grace right here: http://media.sabda.org/alkitab-10/LIBRARY/THEOLOGY/FLA_MDGR.PDF

        I should check out that book. I’ve heard someone else mention him too. He seems to be really good. =)

        • Well, that is definitely a blessing! 🙂 I know often it is difficult to sift through all of the books out there and determine what is good and what isn’t. As another blogging buddy of mine recently posted, the best way to know a counterfeit is to know the real thing. In other words, the better we know the Bible, the easier it will be for us to determine what is truth and what is not. All the more reason why we must stay in the Word! 🙂
          Thanks for the link! I was wondering if I couldn’t find that online somewhere, and there it is! 🙂

          P.S,
          Just curious… what kind of church are you going to?

          • Joy S. says:

            VERY true. We cannot ever base any idea on anything but the Truth – and the Truth is only to be found in the Word. Where other men, fallible as they are, have spoken Truth and not some heresy, it is because they have spent much time reading, pondering, and praying over the Word.

            =) Your curiosity is something I wish I could satisfy more fully because I have no intention of hiding anything. I don’t attend any church. I’m hoping I’ll be able to soon, but for the past 2 and half years since I came to faith, I know this has been the will of my Father and I am at peace with it for now. My circumstances are, for the average Christian, probably more unusual than you’d think. But it is what it is.

  3. Joy S. says:

    Loved these two posts! You are indeed a display of His glory, Rachel, as you let Him teach you and share the things you learn through this blog in spite of your illness and other things you have been going these last several months. I like what you said here: “It is astounding all of the things you can learn in the space of six months and just when I think I’ve learned enough, I realize there are so many more lessons awaiting my attention.” I too have experienced this. When I look back at all I have learned through my trials and all the worry I’ve had to give t God so it could be turned to worship – and then I realize it’s only been 2 and half years… Sometimes I feel like it’s been a lifetime already, but then I see again how much there still is to learn. What patience our Lord has with us!

    Ps. What you said in these two posts reminded me a little of this post I wrote a couple months ago (and there it is again, how much can happen to teach us and grow us in just two months! Makes me wonder what I will look back on and wonder at two months from now…). How Gratitude Can Kill Worry.

    • Thank you, Joy! 🙂 I’m so glad to be a part of His plan. It really is amazing how quickly He teaches us, especially with how stubborn we can be!! I am so thankful for my patient Lord! And like you said, there’s still so much to learn!

      Loved your post!(:

      Btw, I learned a lot of what was in this post from the book Don’t Wrestle, Just Nestle, by Corrie Ten Boom. It was definitely very helpful to me. If you haven’t read it, you should check it out. 🙂

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