Hey everyone, welcome back to Serenity in The Spirit.
Today’s post is about giving our problems and struggles to God. We have previously discussed giving our lives to Christ in order to ‘Live for Jesus’ and part of that includes giving Him our concerns and worries. Fortunately for us, God is not only expectant but also willing to listen.
Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken (Psalm 55:22)
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7)
These two verses (one from the Old Testament and one from the New) explain who we should go to when we are feeling troubled and what will happen when we do. It is inevitable that we will have anxieties/struggles in our lifetime however it is explicitly clear in the Bible that we do not have to suffer on our own. God, our Heavenly Father, cares about us and wants us to go to Him for help just like we would want a friend or family member to come to us.
Let’s look at the word ‘Cast’: according to Oxford Dictionaries, Cast means to ‘throw (something) forcefully in a specified direction’. God wants us to wholly and forcefully give Him our anxieties. If we do something forcefully, we are very intentional with our actions and it is unlikely we will be changing our minds about it. However, often we claim to give our problems to God but continue to worry and stress about them. I believe this to be because of three main reasons:
- We are not happy with the length of time it is taking for our problems to be resolved. We pray often hoping for quick, miraculous, divine intervention but this is not a promise from God. The Word says He will ‘sustain’ us which means He will give us the strength to keep going throughout our struggles – a quick fix is not promised. God works in His own timing. Going through tough times and coming out the other side can improve our resilience and help us appreciate the good times.
- Our problems can actually become worse even after prayer. Again, God works in His own timing. If our problems become worse, it doesn’t mean God hasn’t heard us. He may choose not to fulfil our requests straight away because of the goodness He can bring out of our hardship. When we come out on the other side of our problems (often stronger), we are able to encourage others who are going through a similar situation. Of course, God would rather that we do not suffer at all but our actions have consequences as do the actions of those around us.
- The solution doesn’t come in the form we are expecting. For example, in this generation, it is common that people do not enjoy being single (something I have definitely experienced in the past). God may not give you a boyfriend/girlfriend but He may put more people in your life who encourage you to be focused on Him so you are happier in your single season.
It is human nature for us to be impatient with God particularly as we do not communicate with Him in the same way we would someone on Earth who is in a position to help us. However we should have faith in and take encouragement from His Word (The Bible).
In addition to the above verses that serve the purpose of encouraging us with God’s promises, there are multiple people in the Bible who speak with God about their problems and feelings which suggests it is an important part of our relationship with God. For example David in the book of Psalms, Jonah in the book of Jonah, Job in the book of Job and even Jesus (our example of the only perfect, sinless human) in the books of Matthew and Mark.
The Bible verse associated with this blog (And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus – Philippians 4:7) is preceded by the verse Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (Philippians 4:6). God wants us to communicate to Him in prayer and when we go to Him with our anxieties we are guarded and comforted by God’s peace. A peace so great that we can’t even comprehend it. I have definitely experienced occasions where I have been ‘oddly’ at peace with situations many would say I had every right to be angry/stressed about.
Thank you for reading :) If you are a Christian/know Christians who you go to for comfort in hard times, the chances are there is nothing in this blog post that you haven’t heard before. However, sometimes it is good to be reminded of ‘the obvious’ as often in times of trouble, it is hard to focus on anything other than the issue(s) at hand. The more we study how to cope in stressful situations BEFORE we are in those situations, the easier it will become to handle them. This is advice I was given when I started to take my walk with Christ more seriously and I can testify to the fact that it is true.
As we delve into this series focused on suffering and giving our problems to God, I hope to give some practical advice on how to live out the scripture above. It is definitely easier said than done and often because we are so familiar with these types of verse, we tend not to take them seriously. I would also like to address the question of why there is suffering.
If you would like to share any of your experiences (anonymously), request prayer or give any feedback/ideas feel free to do so here. You can also follow and comment on SiTS social media (Instagram and Twitter).
Lord, I pray for every single person reading this. I pray that in their hour of need they turn to You instead of other worldly outlets such as alcohol, drugs and fornication. Heavenly Father thank You for caring about us and loving us despite what we have done. I pray that anyone going through hardship feels comforted by Your love. Let Your warm, comforting presence be felt. Thank You that You give us strength when we are at rock bottom and I pray for us to feel Your overwhelming peace. IJN, Amen.
Song of the post: Never Would Have Made it – Marvin Sapp