After discovering I had contracted a life threatening disease while in the pursuit of building my publishing company, I was prayed for by the elders and subsequently experienced the supernatural peace of God. In fact, my biggest concern was not the disease but the fear as to whether or not the business would survive without me. How would I live and provide for my wife and three children?
We experience fear when we take on responsibilities that belong to God. And, if we don’t manage fear properly, it is a crippling, debilitating emotion. It closes many doors in our lives that only Christ can open.
The Apostle Paul tells us, “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 comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
When Paul said that we should not be anxious, he used the word merimnao, which means the same thing as fearful. In the Greek it means to be of a divided mind, troubled, worried.
So, we are not to be fearful about anything; instead, we should pray. The word supplication means that we are to regularly and persistently ask God to give us His peace, not just sending up a request once in a while.
The promise of Philippians 4:6-7 is that we can have the “peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension.” In other words, circumstances don’t have to be reasonable, or even understandable, for us to have God’s peace.
For you as a Christian, single-mindedness is an important key to living in God’s peace. A divided mind usually results in fear and anxiety.
I don’t know if your mind has ever been divided as indicated in the Bible, but mine has. “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:7-8). When your mind is divided, you begin to doubt God.
Sometimes I’d tell myself, “Sure, I believe that God is in control, but what if He doesn’t do something?” That’s a divided mind. I might say that I trusted God, but I really trusted the appearance of the circumstances more than God.
To trust God means you put your faith and confidence in Him. Period! When doubts come into your mind - because doubts often do come - you confess them, because God says, “He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9).
James 1:5-8 says those who doubt God are like the waves of the sea, blown here and there by the wind. Personally, I’ve found that to be absolutely true.
A strategy for victory
I’m going to give you a few simple principles that I have learned, and I trust they will be beneficial to you. You can refer to them from time to time and put them to use.
1. Don’t worry.
Corrie Ten Boom, the Dutch writer said, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
2. Accept God’s authority as absolute.
I have known the Lord for over 50 years and know that nothing is greater in this life than a relationship with the living Lord, the Creator of the heaven and earth. I accept God’s authority as absolute. There must be a reason for everything He allows in our lives.
3. Don’t be angry, and don’t blame God.
Anger does nothing but shorten your life expectancy, but laughter is a healer. God loves you, so take this opportunity to get to know Him well, because you’ll be spending eternity with Him.
4. Pray a lot, read a lot, and praise a lot.
This may be the most important principle of all. During any crisis, do not cease to read a lot about God and study His Word and His promises. Establish regular reading times, because God will change your heart and attitudes through His Word.
The better we know God’s Word, the keener our spiritual senses will be. We can take our stand on God’s Word and refuse to be moved.
Also pray – even if it takes effort and persistence. Set a regular time aside and maybe have a “special place” where you can spend time talking directly to God. You can know about God by reading or hearing about Him, but you only know God by talking to Him and hearing from Him.
Many people can tell you a lot about God, but they don’t really know Him. All they’ve done is read about Him, or perhaps they’ve heard someone else talk about Him. But they don’t know Him in a personal way.
Finally, make it a point to praise God for your many blessings. As a Christian, you’re greatest blessing is salvation. Nobody lives forever on this planet, and neither will you. Praise God for the time He’s given you here and for your assurance of spending eternity with Him.
Praise Him and don’t live in self-pity. The more you praise God, the more prepared you will be to accept the next steps of His strategy for you, whatever situation you face.