Philippians 4:6-7 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.
I was reading this verse on day a few years ago and it began to change the way I reacted to stressful situations. That change has only grown through the years and has now become a healthy lifestyle.
When I read it, here’s how I understood it. Whenever the opportunity arises to become anxious, instead of becoming worried, we should pray about what we would like the desired outcome to be, and then instead of worrying, trust in what God will do for that situation. I started practicing that whenever I noticed myself getting worried. I would be driving in the car, realize that my mind was stressed and in that moment, I would pray for the very thing I was worried for.
Most often, God ends up answering the prayer and I later realize I had nothing to worry about. I think it’s a much healthier way to handle situations to pray instead of worry. After-all, what can your worry do? If you are going to worry you might as well be productive and ask God for his help. Then He can actually be working in that situation. Not only that, but then your worry serves a purpose to get God involved. So when you worry, automatically think, pray.
James 4:2 “You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask.”
I think we face many more troubles than we actually should because we forget to ask for God’s help in that situation. The other day at school, I was trying to solve a problem in my web scripting and after two hours of trying everything imaginable to make it work, I gave up in disappointment and frustration. I was sad for a while, because I needed the program to work. In that moment, I noticed I was discouraged and asked God to fill me with his peace and joy again in order to move on. He said, “Let’s speak tonight and I will remove your frustration.”
That night, I was about to talk with the Lord but had to go use the restroom first (isn’t it always in the restroom when the Lord speaks). While I was in the restroom the Lord spoke to me and said, “You were disappointed and frustrated because you didn’t ask for my help. Next time you begin to feel that way and nothing is working, ask and then you won’t be frustrated.”
Instantly I felt relief, usually I do pray but that time I had forgotten. That night I asked for his help and in about 7 minutes the problem I had been trying to fix that day was completely solved.
The next time this situation came up I remembered what the Lord had said. For some reason a piece of code was working perfectly in one site, but in another site it was not. I ran though the checklist of steps, making sure everything was setup properly and running smoothly. I tried dozens of changes and eventually made an entirely new web page. But the program still did not work. When I noticed myself getting frustrated I remembered to ask God for his help. A few moments later, a strange idea came to mind that was completely random and very unrelated to the problem. The problem was so random I could have never guessed what it was and that’s how I know the Lord gave it too me. I tried out the idea and the problem was solved, just moments after I prayed.
So let God get involved in the small details of your life, whether it’s needing an important phone call to be answered, or dealing with a frustration in your job, taking a test for school, or having a relationship difficulty, use your worry as an opportunity to invite God into that situation and allow him to do what your worry can’t.