Devotions

From Panic to Peace

May 13, 2014
"So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17 (NKJV)
20140513_Nancy300

Here I am, lying in bed, staring at the ceiling. No sleep. Body still, mind racing. Panic building.

I forgot to contact Pat today. She's so sick and probably needed me.

Did my daughter realize she hurt my feelings with that comment?

What if I don't make my deadline?

I should have exercised today.

Why does life seem darker at night? Not just literally. It's as though Satan and his minions are just waiting for me to be alone so they can begin the battle for my mind.

Recently I began to meditate on Philippians 4:6a: "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything" (NLT). Did the Apostle Paul really mean not to worry about anything? Is that even possible? Isn't worry just part of human nature?

Yes, worry is part of our human nature. Unfortunately when sin entered the world, emotions like worry did too. However, our fallen human nature always clarifies what being separated from God looks like. And it often looks like fear.

As God's beloved children, we are called to faith, not fear. Faith says, "God is in charge of my life; I will trust Him, even when circumstances might suggest He's not there. I believe God loves me and knows what is best for me." Faith always crowds out fear.

My heart longs to live in faith; however, at times this is difficult. But here's the key: "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17).

If I haven't made time to hear from God through His Word, I find my prayers being more of a monologue of fear-based worry.

But when I make time to listen to God, I'm reminded of His promises and I become familiar with His voice. As a result, my prayers really do change from panic to praise. In bed at night, a dialogue evolves (no longer a monologue). When I turn to God with my concerns, I can hear His response. As John 10:27a tells us, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them ..." (ESV).

God's Word reminds us to put the kingdom of God first and the things we need will be ours (Matthew 6:33, ESV). In other words, when I devote myself to God first, all the rest will sort itself out, and this brings peace.

What is most pressing in your life right now? Whatever that is, put God's Word there instead. Replace worry with the truth of God's love and power. Then we can trust that God will do as He says: "keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed" on Him (Isaiah 26:3a, ESV).

As I think about God's promises, panic turns to praise, praise turns to peace and peace turns to sleep. I begin to understand what Paul meant when he said, "Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand" (Philippians 4:7a, NLT).

It is possible to experience God's peace. When we learn to cast our cares on God and trust Him to handle them, faith replaces fear. Worry sees problems, but faith sees the God who can handle the problems.

God's Word changes how we cast our cares. When we choose to cast them onto Him instead of into the air, we'll find comfort in His promises. Then maybe we can finally get a good night's sleep.

Heavenly Father, thank You for watching over me at night. Forgive me for the times I have worried. Help me to be devoted to You and Your love, not my circumstances. Instead of tossing and turning at night, I want to remember to turn the pages of Scripture in my mind. I want to rest in You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

***

TRUTH FOR TODAY:



Psalm 4:8, "In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe." (NLT)

Isaiah 26:3, "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you." (ESV)

RELATED RESOURCES:



Is worry a struggle for you? If so, you'll appreciate Nancy McGuirk's new eight-week Bible study, Philippians: To Live Is Christ. To receive a sample of Nancy's DVD teaching series on Philippians, click here.

Visit Nancy's website to learn more about her ministry and for other helpful resources.

Enter to WIN a copy of  Philippians: To Live Is Christ  by Nancy McGuirk. In celebration of this book, Nancy’s publisher is giving away 10 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment below, letting us know why you’d like a copy for yourself OR who you would give the book to, if you won. {We’ll randomly select 10 winners and email notifications to each one, on Monday, May 19th.}

REFLECT AND RESPOND:



How can you make time in your day for more of God's Word? Write down your current worries and look for God's promises in response to each concern.

Consider making a "to think" list each day, instead of a "to do" list. List the promises of God that apply to your life and meditate on them.

© 2014 by Nancy McGuirk. All rights reserved.

Click here to pin the imageClick here to download this free printable PDF

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks AMG Publishers for their sponsorship of today's devotion.

Click here to view our policy on 3rd party links.

Join the Conversation

Study Products


Finding I AM Teaching Series

Note: This is an audio product, not a book, to accompany the study. Finding I AM Teaching Series "God isn't trying to hide from us. He's waiting to be seen by us." - Lysa TerKeurst, author of Finding I AM Bible Study Do you ever find it intimidating…

Lysa TerKeurst's Enrichment Collection

Grab a set of Lysa TerKeurst's best selling books - Made To Crave, The Best Yes, and What Happens When Women Walk in Faith. Keep them for yourself or share copies with your family and friends as Lysa teaches us all how to cure the disease to please, gain a…

The Book of John Experience Guide (Digital Version)

This product is a digital product only. It will be automatically delivered to the email address provided at checkout. This Experience Guide is the same as the printed guide, but in a convenient PDF format. Two versions of the digital…

Suffering and Sovereignty Experience Guide (Digital Version)

This is a digital product only. It will be automatically delivered to the email address provided at checkout. The "Suffering & Sovereignty" First 5 Experience Guide serves as your companion book to each First 5 study. Use it as your physical (or digital) study companion as…

 

About Proverbs 31

Proverbs 31 Ministries is a non-denominational, non-profit Christian ministry that seeks to lead women into a personal relationship with Christ, with Proverbs 31:10-31 as a guide.
Learn More

Support Proverbs 31 Ministries

In a day and time when the world is trying to quiet biblical truth, Proverbs 31 Ministries is determined to help women engage with God’s truth like never before through the resources we offer each day.
Give Now