In Christian-eze it’s been said various ways: “Give it to God.” “Turn it over to God.” “Let God do the heavy lifting.” Scripture says it this way: “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
But how do you do that? Your human heart and mind can’t help worrying, thinking, ruminating, and drumming up all the bad things that might happen. Or becoming anxious, paralyzed, or frantic about the bad things that ARE happening.
Of course bad things might happen. Or are happening right now. You just got laid off from your job. Your child, your spouse, or you have just been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. The bill collectors are calling. You’ve been served with a lawsuit. You, your spouse, or your child has just been deployed to a war zone. False and malicious rumors have been circulated about you. Your spouse just served you with divorce papers. How could you NOT worry?
The Bible is full of admonishments to “fear not.”
- Isaiah: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
- David: “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 43:5)
- Jesus: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? … Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Luke 6:25-27)
- Jesus: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” (John 14:1)
I will always remember a Bible story book I had as a little girl. It told the story of Jesus in the boat with His disciples during a fierce storm. (Matthew 8:23-27) Jesus awoke, stood, and rebuked the wind and the waves. And everything became still. In the story book paraphrase of verse 26 Jesus says to His disciples, “Why were you afraid? Why were you afraid when I was with you?”
Indeed, why are we so afraid when He is with us? Tweet that.
Now if you had been the disciples, wouldn’t it have seemed strange that Jesus rebuked you for being afraid when your very life was in danger? These were seasoned fishermen, and they knew how to handle themselves in the middle of a storm on the sea. This must have been some storm to make them freak out! And still Jesus said, “Why are you afraid?”
How can we get to the place of no fear? How can we “turn it over to God?” Let me suggest these points:
- Get to know Him. The more you know someone, the more you can trust them. The more we know, understand, and believe – really believe – that God is good, the more we are able to trust Him. That means spending time with Him, going through things with Him, inviting Him into your life over and over again, and seeing how He walks with you through the tough stuff.
- “Tell it to Jesus.” The disciples cried out to Jesus when they were afraid. When He was here on Earth all who came to Jesus asking to be healed were healed. Elijah, David, Paul, and many others knew what it was like to talk to God about their problems, openly, and with emotion. He still hears us when we cry to Him today.
- Do the next right thing. Sometimes God uses us as part of the answer to our own prayers. “Turning it over to God” does not mean we stop taking action. That might mean following your doctor’s treatment plan if you’re sick, or creating a new business if you’re out of a job, or going to marriage counseling if your relationship is in trouble. Keep doing what is in your power to do.
- Take the eternal view. Our lives here are full of trouble. Remembering heaven and eternity should help us keep the present in perspective. Yes, we hurt and cry and mourn here. But we also know the end of the story. Hope and joy and perseverance are possible when we remember the “eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)
If God asks you to not be afraid or anxious, He has provided a way for you to do so. Get to know Him. And trust Him today.
Your Turn: Do you ever find yourself afraid, and then realize you didn’t need to be, because God was with you? Share your story here. Leave a comment below.
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- “Turn it over to God” can seem difficult. Here’s how to do it. Tweet that.
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