“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
There’s something I’ve learned about myself recently: Sometimes what’s really overwhelming me isn’t that I have too much to do or too much to process. It’s that I’ve allowed too much fear into the mix of it all.
Fear of the unknown.
Fear of what crazy thing is going to hit me next.
Fear of not being able to know when or if “normal” will ever return.
Can you relate?
Sometimes what is really causing me to be afraid isn’t what’s actually in front of me — it’s me projecting fearful possibilities onto what I’m facing today. I have a habit of mentally running into the future, painting pictures of all the worst-case scenarios, and then running back to today and pinning those pictures all over the walls in my mind. But as God is my witness, no worst-case-scenario thinking has ever protected me. It’s only projected the possible pain of tomorrow onto today and fed more fear.
Today, I’m asking God to help me know the difference between wise discernment and fear. And there is a big difference: One prompts me to remember God. The other prompts me to panic.
And we can’t live in panic and peace at the same time.
Instead of trying to figure out the future and panicking because of worst-case scenarios, I can intentionally look back at all the places in my life where I can clearly see that God had a good plan — He provided for me, He came through for me, and He helped me through whatever I faced.
Taking the time to trace God’s hand of faithfulness from the past is so much more calming than trying to predict the future.
And when I lay down my worst-case scenarios, I also pray differently, as our key verse for today instructs us to do:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
These verses show me that I’m just one prayer away from experiencing the peace of God — and so are you.
Even when we’re crippled with fear and don’t understand what’s in front of us, we can whisper a simple prayer: God, please help me. Be with me. Lead me. Hold me. Show me the next step.
Often, our next step isn’t walking forward; it’s remembering who God is.
God is loving. God is kind. God is patient. God is just. God is all-capable and all-knowing. God is forgiving. God is generous. God is good. Praying these truths about who God is will comfort us in our panic.
Then after we pray, we can take a moment and glance outside. Look at the sky. Acknowledge that it’s not falling. We don’t have to live in fear. We don’t have to worry about what’s ahead. The same God who keeps all the galaxies in place will be right there to greet us and lead us into the days to come.
Friend, this truth is the safest place for us to land.
Father God, when I’m tempted to let worst-case scenarios write and rewrite the truth I believe, remind me You are in control. Remind me You can be trusted with it all. Remind me I don’t have to run ahead and be prepared for it all because You hold it all together. Infuse my heart with hope as I cling to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
To the woman who is facing something hard or just feeling disconnected from God altogether … you’re invited to the You’re Going to Make It Tour happening NEXT MONTH with Lysa TerKeurst, Hope Darst, and Dr. Joel Muddamalle, Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Director of Theological Research! Everything they’ve dreamed up for these special one-night events was planned with you in mind. Tickets are almost gone, so make plans to attend with a friend, and purchase today!
Find real-life encouragement when you connect with Lysa TerKeurst here on Instagram.
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Psalm 16:8-9, “I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure” (ESV).
How does knowing that the Lord is always before you encourage you as you think about the future?
We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.
© 2023 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.
What We Believe
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