I have had many people ask me recently, “how do you worry less?” They shared with me how they seem to worry about everything, and how they can’t seem to stop.
One of the scriptures that has helped me over the years, when I am concerned about how something will turn out, is found in 1 Peter 5:7. It says, “7 Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.” The scripture instructs us to cast “all” of our anxiety on God, not just some of the things. Peter shares with us that we should do this because God cares for us. Well let’s get practical, what does that exactly mean? The word in Greek is ἐπιρίπτω (epiripto). What that meant was “to place or put something on someone else with great energy or throwing on forcefully” or “to put responsibility on or make responsible” (Logos Software). This means that we are to place the thoughts that we are concerned and worried about on God, not casually hoping that he will handle it, but as an action of faith. This means that we are to trust him, to trust that he will work it all out. We allow God to care for us, by resting our minds in the fact that God is taking responsibility for our situation. What are some worries that you have trouble allowing God to manage? Why does it seem so difficult?
"When the rubber meets the road," this was an expression that we would reflect on many times, when I was in Business school. We would talk about theory and then we would try to talk about practice. We would work so hard, trying to find ways to join theory and practice together. What is most interesting, is that I find myself doing the same thing in church.
We have the Bible, each of us looks at the Bible differently. For some of us, it is just a nice book with interesting stories, for others, it is folklore and mystical. Still for others, it is a great book for teaching morals and ethics, All of these ideas make me wonder, was God's intent to just teach us a good story? Was his intent to tell us about things that could never happen in our everyday lives? Do we come week after week, just to hear a bunch of nice stories, or is there something more? Is there something more in those pages of the book (Bible)? Is there something more that we can get out of it? If so, what is it?
In the Bible, Jesus taught his disciples how to pray. He taught them that when they pray, the first thing that they need to get right, was that they are not praying to some foreign Deity. He taught them that they are to begin by saying "Our Father". He wanted them to first understand the importance of a relationship. A relationship where God is like a parent, who wants to hear from us, and talk to us. When we pray, we should know that God's desire is to reward us for seeking him first (Heb 11:6). That he actually loves us and looks forward to hearing from us.
Unfortunately we sometimes forget this spiritual reality, we forget that God will intervene. We forget that God will show up, we forget that miracles still do happen today. Again, "where the rubber hits the road," if a miracle can't happen today, then why do we pray as though they can? Why do we pray for sick people, unless we actually believe that God can make them better (Miracle)?
The early church had this problem, since James was killed when he was arrested, they were afraid for Peter when they heard that he had gotten arrested (Acts 12:1-5). The church was concerned that Peter would undergo the same fate as James. So the church prayed fervently for a miracle. The odd thing was that they were actually shocked when the miracle happened (Acts 12:15-16). Peter was supernaturally released from prison and was knocking at the house of where they met together for church. When they heard that Peter was outside, they were in amazement.
This is what puzzles me, why would we be shocked if we start seeing the things that we are praying for happened. We shouldn't be shocked, we should expect it. Don't stop praying for people, don't stop praying for members in the church. God is listening and answering our prayers. Let us share with others all the things that God is doing. When we pray, expect God to answer not arrogantly, but humbly in love, after all, Jesus told us to pray to "Our Father". God truly is our father and he wants to hear from us more often, so go ahead and talk to him more often. You will never regret that you did!
Yours "In Christ"
Pastor Paul Fontanez