Daily Devotion: March 18

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 love controlling things… It’s pretty much the best. Knowing that I have all my ducks in a row so that no surprises come my way is where I am most in my comfort zone. I may sound weird saying this, but if my life was guaranteed to suddenly end by something like a shark attack, I would want to know the date, exact time and location because I would rather see it coming than be surprised by it. But no matter how hard I try to control things, the bottom line is that’s not how life works. In his song “Anxiety” Andy Mineo once said “Anxiety is fear mixed with control, when you can't control something the only thing left to do is to rage.” It’s so easy to get in a state of rage because of our anxieties and stress. The reason being is that life is always so unpredictable. When life gets out of control and we bottle up our anxieties within ourselves rather than dealing with them properly, the only outlet we have for our fears is rage. Now the idea of “raging” is not just anger but uncontrollable anger. So imagine for a second, the idea that our stress can cause us to give into our anxieties and lose all control of our emotions. Meaning we give into sin, give into shame, give into condemnation, give into conflict within each other and within ourselves as opposed to giving into Jesus.

However, while reading this passage in Philippians and reflecting on the quote from Andy Mineo’s song, I found myself asking the question, “what if for once, we dealt with these anxieties the right way, rather than bottling them up and giving into them?” This is obviously easier said than done, and the reason why is because it literally can’t be done without God. Paul made himself clear, not only are we supposed to be anxious for NOTHING, but that the peace we so often seek to keep us from giving into our anxieties can only be found through Christ and cannot be gained apart from Him. This peace cannot be explained to a science. If it could, it wouldn’t be worth obsessing over because it would leave as soon as it came. This peace can only come from God and God alone. The irony of this text is Paul is writing this in prison, to Christians who are heavily discouraged because they are being persecuted for their faith, and in return they are dealing with their anxiety by giving into conflict with each other. So the question becomes, where are we giving in and letting anxiety take control of our lives rather than taking those anxieties and giving them up to God?

I can’t speak for how we all give in to anxiety, but Paul wants to make something clear in these verses, we CAN find peace in Christ, because where we have no control over what happens, God does. If God was not in control of everything, we couldn’t approach him in prayer and He couldn’t guard our hearts and minds through His peace. But He is in control and with that control, He allows us to approach Him! This is why Paul says in the previous verse “The Lord is at hand” meaning God is coming back soon. God is not coming back soon because He is waiting on somebody else’s perfect timing, He is coming soon because He is waiting forHis perfect timing, because He is in control of all our lives. Taking that thought a step further, not only is He coming soon, but He also already came, when Jesus not only died and rose again for our sin, but also left us with a promise that He would never leave us or forsake us. We may not have control, but God does, and He’s proven that through the hope we have in Christ. The reality is, Jesus promises us, that through the power of the Holy Spirit, He will never leave us alone. If we are alone and beaten by our anxieties, it’s because we are beating ourselves up, not because God wishes that burden upon us. This is why Paul says “Be anxious for nothing” but instead “through prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving” turn to Jesus. So in this time, remember that not only do we have access to God through prayer, but He can and will grant us His peace if we just turn to Him, because He is always in control.

QUESTIONS
  1. Are you struggling to believe that God’s control is better than your control?
  2. Are there any areas in your life that are you giving into anxiety rather than giving into Jesus?
  3. What have you done these past few weeks to turn to Jesus, the Source of your peace?

FOR YOUR KIDS

Get to Know Your Kids
  1. What is your favorite drink?
  2. If you had to drink one soda for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Devotional Questions
  1. Where was Paul when he wrote this letter? (Prison)
  2. Do you think Paul had things to worry about in prison? (Yes)
  3. What are you worried about today?

Pray
No problem is too big for God. Take time to pray about what your kids are worried about and then thank God for the peace that will come.

Have Fun
When we “bottle up” fear it only makes things worse.
Illustrate this to your kids by using a 2 liter bottle of soda:

Step One: When we choose to not worry but pray about what is bothering us, it’s like opening this bottle really carefully. (opening bottle slowly)
EVERYTHING IS FINE!

Step Two: But when we choose to worry and not pray, it only makes things worse.
Brace yourself, parents! Have your kids shake the bottle up while doing a silly dance. Then open the bottle and let the soda spray!
WHAT A MESS! Not praying about our worries only makes things worse.

Step Three: If you have some ice cream, have the kids make soda floats!
Tagged with ,

Related Posts

1 Comment


Mira - March 18th, 2020 at 5:04pm

Thank you for the devotion to remind us not to be anxious. Such good reminder that He really is GOD, and we can come to Him.

Recent

Archive

Tags