Jessica Albritton, NextGen Minister LHBC
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
In his memoirs, President Ulysses S. Grant recounts a story from his time serving in the US Military. On the evening of the first day out from Goliad he and another soldier were taking watch in the field. After dusk, when all the other soldiers were sleeping, they heard the most unearthly howling of wolves in the prairie. Grant’s fellow soldier looked over at him and asked how many he believed were in the pack. Grant, having grown up in the area of Ohio where wolves had long been driven out, admitted he knew very little of wolves, but to him it sounded like enough to devour their whole camp, horses and all. But not wanting to guess too high and look silly, Grant decided to grossly underestimated. Grant shrugged and stated matter of factly, ”Oh, about twenty.”
The men looked around a bit searching for the pack of wolves and in a matter of minutes they stumbled upon them. Much to Grants surprise there were only TWO! Seated on their hunches, with their mouths close together, two wolves made all that noise themselves. Even Grant’s gross underestimation was way off from reality.
I don’t know about you but I have certainly found myself in situations where I grossly overestimate something. Isn’t that just like life? The unknown is scary and if we are not careful we can find ourselves in a situation where worry and fear outweigh the reality of the situation. Worries and shame, the weight of sin and guilt associated with it, can often overwhelm us. Pair that with an over-estimation for the burden it is to follow Jesus and before long we can fall into the trap of legalism, following all rules and checking off the boxes trying to be the perfect Christian. But Jesus assures us His yolk is easy and His burden is light. 1 Peter 5:7 encourages believers to cast all their anxieties on Jesus, because he cares for you. While following Jesus is not a walk in the park, it is a journey we don’t travel alone. We have a Savior that carries our burdens and cares for us deeply.
Philippians 4:6 reminds us “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” But how do we do that? How do we stop the worry? We do that by replacing anxious thoughts with things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise. In short, reflect on Jesus.
What are you dwelling on today? What anxious thoughts fill your mind? Cast them on Jesus and replace those thoughts with Him.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Heavenly Father, help me to dwell on you and not the worries and fears of this world. Lord, when I am anxious help me to instead have thoughts that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise. In Jesus name, amen!
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
the righteous man runs into it and is safe.