Girlfriends in God - Apr. 20, 2010

April 20, 2010 


Winning over Worry 

Part 2 

Mary Southerland

Today's Truth 
Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV) "Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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."

Friend To Friend 
In the key passage, Paul gives us the promise of peace.  However, there are conditions to be met and actions we must take in order to experience that peace and win over worry!

Action one:  Choose joy

Action two:  Be gentle

Philippians 4:5 gives an unusual directive concerning worry when it says we should "let our gentleness be evident to all." "Gentleness" literally means "humility, softness and tenderness" indicating that we must be gentle with everyone. The Living Bible translates "gentle" as "unselfish and considerate."  Any way you look at it, this truth is in direct opposition to the viewpoint of the world in which we live. Power and assertiveness gain respect while gentleness is often viewed as weakness.

In God's eyes, gentleness is harnessed strength, a controlled power. But what does gentleness have to do with eliminating worry? Paul says that the way we treat people affects our peace. Many of us have lives filled with worry because we have relationships filled with conflict. When we are unkind, conflict is the inevitable result.  Worry and anxiety thrive in the atmosphere of conflict.

What does it mean to be gentle in our relationships?

Gentleness is willing to give up control.

James 3:17 "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure and full of quiet gentleness. It allows discussion and is willing to yield to others." Gentleness can always find a patch of common ground, giving people room to grow and change.  Gentleness does not control but is willing to yield or submit to one another in love.

Gentleness is love in action.

James 3:17b "Gentleness if full of mercy and good deeds."  When gentleness sees a need, it does something about it. It is compelled to take action.

Gentleness forgives.

Colossians 3:13 "Forgive as the Lord forgave you."  Gentleness is quick to give and receive forgiveness, always taking the responsibility to initiate forgiveness. 

Gentleness wages peace.

Hebrews 12:14 "Pursue peace with all people." Gentleness pursues peace - not retaliation. The goal of gentleness is unity. I've read that when thoroughbred horses face attack, they stand in a circle, facing each other, and with their back legs, kick out at the enemy. Donkeys do just the opposite, facing the enemy and kicking each other. We are called to wage peace.

When we practice gentleness and pursue peace in our relationships, there will be less conflict, more unity and fewer footholds for worry.

Action three: Be aware of His presence.

Philippians 4:5 "The Lord is near."

We often pray, asking for God's presence when our prayer should be, "Lord, make me aware of your presence." He is near but many times our lives and hearts are too crowded to see or hear Him. The more we are aware of God's presence the less we will worry. We become aware of His presence through:

His word

Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword."

The most powerful weapon against worry is scripture. Immerse your life in it. When worry comes - deflect it with the shield of God's word.


1 Peter 5:7 "Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you."

Prayer is simply conversation with God and a powerful weapon against worry. I read of a widow who had successfully raised a large family of eighteen children, twelve of whom were adopted. Yet, she never seemed to worry. During an interview, a reporter asked the secret of her peace and confidence.  She said, "I'm not alone. I'm in a partnership with God. Years ago, I said "Lord, I'll do the work and you do the worrying!  I have had peace ever since!" 

Other believers

Ecclesiastes 4:12 "And one standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer; three is even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken."

When you share your fears with others, they grow smaller because someone has gotten under the load with you. A shared load is a lighter load. We tend to hide our fears in darkness where they grow and strengthen, instead of bringing them out into the light where they will die. When we try to be "lone-ranger Christians" and handle our fears on our own, we are susceptible to attacks that will defeat us.  When we stand together, our strength is multiplied and we are not easily beaten.  


James 1:17 "Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow."

The more we know Him the more we will understand that He really is who He says He is and that He is willing and able to work in our lives. So much worry is buried in the unknown. The "known" victories of yesterday can destroy the fear of today's "unknown" circumstances because He is always the same. When you are tempted to worry, stop and go back over the books, remembering the victories and celebrating them once again. The God who delivered you yesterday will deliver you today and tomorrow!  The experiences of life prove Him true and underline His presence within.

(Join me tomorrow for the conclusion of this series on how to win over worry.)

Let's Pray 
Father, help me learn how to handle the relationships in my life with gentleness. When there is conflict give me the strength to confront it in Your love. Give me a heart for restoration instead of retaliation. Guard my words and my thoughts, Father.

In Jesus' name, 

Now It's Your Turn 
Memorize these names of God and call on Him when doubt and worry come:

Jehovah Shammah:"I am there."

Jehovah Shalom: "I am your peace."

Jehovah Jireh:"I am your provider."

Emmanuel: "God with us."

Read Psalm 56:8 "Lord, you have seen me tossing and turning through the night. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded every one in your book." In your journal, write this verse in your own words as a prayer of thanksgiving for God's unfailing love.

More From The Girlfriends 
The voice of worry and fear will be drowned out when we choose to listen to God's voice above all others. Need help? We all do, friend. Join women from across the world as we study the Word of God in my weekly online Bible Study, Light for the Journey.

Visit my online store and download the E-Bible study, Getting a Grip on Fear and be sure to check out my new DVD - Strength for the Storm.

I would love to connect with you through email or on Facebook! Let's talk! 

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Originally published Tuesday, 20 April 2010.