Sunday, August 3, 2014

Faithful Fridays ~ If You Must Look Forward, Do So Prayerfully.

Good afternoon!  :)  I'm back from a wee break and ready to share something with you guys that I've been learning lately.  :)

Faithful Fridays is a weekly linky party hosted on my blog. I made it so that Christians could have one special day out of the week (Friday) to share something from their walk with Jesus on their blog. If you'd like to participate, write your post, grab the button from the Faithful Fridays page on my blog (so that it will link back here), and come link up at the bottom of this post! :)


"If you must look back, do so forgivingly.  If you must look forward, do so prayerfully.  But the best thing you can do is to be present in the present...gratefully."
-Maya Angelou

I've always classified myself as a worrier.  I think a lot, and a lot of that thinking involves thinking about the future--fantasizing, dreaming, or worrying, depending on the subject.  It's just my default mode, and I think a lot of people are the same way.  It seems to be in our programming; we want to know what's next, and when, and how it's all going to play out (okay, maybe a part of that is a woman's curse ;)).  So we spend time mulling over the future and all its unknown details.  And so many times, that leads us into worry.  Which is really just a lack of trust in God; a lack of faith.  

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
-Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything.  

That's a command, and it's a pretty crazy one, isn't it?  

Do not be anxious about anything.

Not your health, or your job, or your career, or your dreams, or your future husband, or your friendships, or your relationship with God, or if people will like you, or how good or strong of a person you are.  

Instead, in every situation, by prayer and petition (or supplication, the kind of prayers where we let God know what we need), with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

"Worry implies that we don't quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough."
-Francis Chan

It's not that we aren't supposed to think about the future at all.  In fact, over and over again, we're told to keep our mind's eye fixed on Jesus' return, and our homecoming to Heaven, where our lasting citizenship lies.  But it's how we look at the future that matters.  Do we look at it through the lens of trying to figure out what's going to happen and how we're going to handle it?  Do we look at it with the thought of, "Well just in case God decides not to act, I will....."?

"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him."
-Hebrews 11:6

That is how worry and anxiety come to fill up our souls, to take over our minds and make our lives miserable.  The key to living without fear of the future, to look forward and still battle away worry and anxiety, is to look forward prayerfully.  Not living it out in our heads in our own strength, or over-planning, but by praying.  By bringing that issue that's nagging at our minds, however big, small, strange, terrifying, or petty it may be, straight up to God.  Laying it at His feet in trust.  Because you see, He is sovereign.  Omnipresent.  Always there, everywhere, eternally and completely in control.  He truly has the whole world in His hands.  Whatever is happening or could happen to you is not a surprise to Him--He doesn't come rushing onto the scene afterward to do damage control and clean up.  His hand is on it all; and it's not your response or ability to circumstances that matters, but your response to His ability.  He cares enough about you to not want you to live your life in anxiety or fear, and He's waiting on you to give those things to Him in trust.

Prayerful looking forward is when we start to feel ourselves stressing out over our next grade, our college choices, that one relationship that is on shaky ground, or even our distant future life choices--and we choose to turn our minds instead to God's perfect sovereignty and love for us.  

"We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.  ...Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear.  If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love."
-1 John 4:16 & 18

Whatever it is in the future--or the present--that strikes fear and anxiety into your mind, bring it to your Father, the one who created, loved, and paid the price for you to live entirely in Him and His life of freedom.  Look forward prayerfully, with thanksgiving, too--thanksgiving went before God's miracles so many times in Jesus' walk on earth, so thank God in remembrance for what He's already done and in anticipation of what He will do.  Look forward prayerfully and do not be anxious about anything--He's waiting to take those burdens from you.  

"For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything he does.  He loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth.
-Psalm 33:4-5


This is my last Faithful Friday post--more explaining about that to come soon!  I want to bring my blog back to a place where I simply spill out my thoughts and what happens in my life, unconfined by a certain time (I'm always late :)) or name.  Don't worry, though, the content of Faithful Fridays--sharing what I and others learn in our personal relationships and walks with Jesus with one another--is something I definitely want to keep up through blogging, and I won't stop sharing those things here!  :)

Have a lovely week and God bless you guys,
Joy :)


Lauren said...

This was so well written! I really needed this today, so thank you for writing it! I will definitely be re-reading this throughout the school year because I struggle with worry and wanting control over everything a TON. I'm not sure who doesn't struggle with that!
Have an incredible week :)

Tashia said...

Hey! Just wanted to tell you I changed my blog name! I did a blog post, but am thinking some people might not know...people wondered if i deleted it and no, i didn't!! Here is the link:
p.s. sorry if this sounds confusing!

Sarah Day said...

Lovely, Joy :)

Tammy ~ Country Girl at Home ~ said...

You know I struggle with the same thing. Very wise words here. :) A pastor when I was younger defined worry as takingon an added responsibility that God never intended for us to have. And that's what you said so eloquently here.

Love you! 10!

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is amazing. I have anxiety and re-reading this and thinking about it can really help me! Thanks so much

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