“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.” 2 Thess. 3:16
One day in the bathtub of all places as I prayed briefly for a beloved friend and considered her ongoing struggle with worry which in my own experience has been a sidekick that has rarely left my side for a long as I can remember no matter how many times I have repented of it, sought the Lord’s forgiveness, and striven to walk by faith rather than by fear, some wisdom from above fell swiftly and confidently into my heart. The bath ended abruptly as I knew I needed to get to my computer for the message God’s Spirit was laying sweetly upon my heart. One towel wrapped around my body, another around my hair, not sufficiently dried off, I went to my keyboard to pour out what I believe God wanted me to say to encourage others in their own struggle, and battle, with worry and fear.
One of the most critical lessons I have learned about worry and fear, and faith, is this. In the strength of God’s Spirit, through the glorious Word of God, we can CHOOSE to WALK BY FAITH and take actions of faith EVEN WHEN our feelings are clamoring and clinging and cleaving to our hearts and minds and screaming at us that we should worry and fear and stay frantically stuck and trapped exactly where we are as they fight ferociously to swallow us up and consume us and if nothing else so distract us from God and His Word and exhaust us that we don’t even have the energy to take action. Oh, how Satan uses worry to try to destroy us!
The faith walk is NOT about how we feel, but is about TRUSTING God and is about what we DO regardless of how we feel. Worry and fear try to convince us we can’t be free and must stay immobile as long as we still have the feelings. Satan wants us trapped in our feelings of fear.
I sensed my friend may have been waiting for her feelings of fear to go away before taking action. Faith isn’t about our feelings. It’s about walking with the Lord wherever He leads us for His glory regardless of how we feel. I wish I could say I do a perfect job of kicking worry out of my heart and never letting it return. I don’t at all. But no longer do I allow it to keep me from taking the actions I believe God desires. And I persevere in the battle of being free from the worry altogether.
God most assuredly doesn’t want our hearts and minds clogged with sickening worry. He wants us filled with His Spirit and Word instead. Those of us who struggle with worry need to learn to cast our worries down and replace them with God’s Word (2 Cor. 10:5), but even for those of us who continue to battle worry, even when those feelings come fast and furious, even when we don’t do so great at casting the thoughts down, we need to not stay stuck. But to walk by faith. Hand in hand with Jesus.