by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2011 www.holyspiritpress.org www.eaglesnestfoundation.org
God tells us not to worry and yet – at least for those of us in America – it seems as if the habit of worry is engrained into our culture. It is almost as if there is a message emblazoned on our subconscious that if we don’t worry, then there is something wrong with us. Worry can also give us a false sense that we are “doing” something, when in reality we are not.
When we stop to think, it is clear to all of us that worry isn’t productive: it produces no positive result and has no power to change ANYTHING. In fact, the only result the activity of worry produces is negative, since worry can fill our minds and keep us from other good, positive, productive activities and have adverse effects on our mental and physical well-being.
So what’s a human to do?!?
First, we need to consider that worry is a symptom of a deeper underlying root. Why do we worry? What prompts it?
Underneath worry often is our concern (fear, anxiety) that our will won’t be fulfilled our way. We know how we want certain circumstances to turn out, what we want to happen (or not) and we want what we want. We worry what will happen to us, if circumstances don’t go the way we believe is best. We also worry for those we love. We don’t want anything negative to happen to them and we don’t want them to suffer! (Please God, no!)
Yet consider that to be worried about circumstances not turning out a particular way actually reflects a lack of trust in God. If He is God, then He promises to have the plan. If He is God, then He loves us infinitely beyond anything we can imagine and promises to use ALL things for good in light of eternity.
No, He does not promise to answer all our prayers our way. He does not promise there will be no suffering for us or for those we love. He does not promise we will be able to avoid physical death.
Now these truths can cause us to worry more, or maybe, just maybe we can choose to rest in them because through it all God does promise to be with us and take care of us perfectly until it is His appointed time for Him to bring us to our eternal home. To the extent we choose to trust God (and it is a daily, sometimes moment-by-moment choice), worry melts away.
Trusting God is not a deal we make with Him in the false hope that He will reward our faith and choice by causing everything to happen the way we want. Our physical lives are spent on earth, not in heaven and during this life there always will be two invisible supernatural physical forces at work, one good (God) and one evil (the adversary), both surrounding us at all times, contending for our allegiance and having effect on us. God is greater and supreme – eternal Victor! – but He allows the other to exist for two primary reasons: first, because our ancestors chose to place themselves under the adversary’s authority by following his instructions over God’s and second, because the existence of this entity so completely opposite to God, presents us with a clear choice of whom we will follow. God wants to be our King and Lord of choice. He forces Himself on no one.
Trusting Him is letting Him be God, understanding through whatever comes He will be with us and those we love; He will take care of us perfectly until He brings us to our eternal home. This is His promise and unlike humanity who can break promises, God IS Truth and therefore cannot lie. A promise made is a promise which will be, must be fulfilled.
We have this false sense to pray so nothing “bad” comes into our lives and yet it still will. Instead we need to pray through those things which would otherwise cause us worry because our purpose is to be used by God in all circumstances to reflect His nature as led by the Holy Spirit. We are to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, God’s perfect ambassador while on earth and our Savior and Lord.
Jesus did not avoid suffering and even was called by God to endure death on the cross though innocent. Recall His agony in the garden preceding His arrest and passion. He did not want to endure the cross and even asked the Father if it could be avoided. He prayed! And as it is for us sometimes, God in His sovereign wisdom decided it was best to answer Jesus’ differently. Jesus’ prayer was not answered the way He desired, but Jesus’ love for the Father and trust in the Father was absolute. So Jesus obeyed, resolutely and without complaint and through His suffering (which from a worldly perspective seemed illogical and completely avoidable), God redeemed all who would turn to Him for eternity. God’s plan, not ours…God took what the enemy meant for extreme evil and used it for the eternal good of all.
Often it is that which we want to pray away and that which keeps us up at night worrying “what if” (the hard things which are the result of a fallen world where there is evil and good) which God uses in unfathomable ways to draw others to Himself and reveal the nature of who He is so that more might know Him. Though it almost never seems so in the moment, ultimately God always uses the evil for eternal good. There are storms in life, which will come. Every storm eventually passes. Like the blue sky which is always still there and present beyond the clouds even when the storm is at its fiercest, God is there in our storms.
In the end it is choice. Either He is the God of the Bible or He is not. If He is, then we can trust Him. He asks us to trust Him! He is a good God. He is unending love. He is infinite mercy. He is all-powerful. He is Supreme.
This life will continue to be lived in an environment which is not all good because evil is very real. However, through it all He will never fail to be by our side and hold us up no matter how hard it gets. We do not need to worry because He will never leave us or forsake us and He will be faithful to lead, guide and steward us gently (using us every step of the way if we let Him) until He leads us home.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Eph 6:10-18 NIV)
5…for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] [Josh 1:5] (Heb. 13:5b Amplified)
6 So we take courage and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me? [Ps. 27:1; 118:6] (HEB 13:6 Amplified)
31 “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matt. 6:31-34 NIV)
Selah! (Pause and calmly think of that.) END
(upcoming devotion: TURNING WORRY INTO WORSHIP)
Remember to view the new song, “One Nation Under God” on youtube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d593RguxQI8&feature=share Share the link! Let’s let everyone know that the USA is and remains one nation under God and be encouraged in how God values every individual.
For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.