2 Corinthians 4:18 Amplified Bible: Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting.
Both of these two translations talk about “fixing our eyes” and “considering” things that we see going on around us. They caution us about paying too much attention to the things that we see in the natural because they are temporary or “subject to change”. I heard someone say today that certain problems they were experiencing were just visiting and would be leaving soon. I'm sure you've heard the old saying, “this, too, shall pass”.
Instead, what we are to do is focus on what God says in His word about tribulations and trials. We over come by countering what we see in the natural with what God says in His word. Many times I've had to stop myself while going through a difficulty and remind myself of what God's word says regarding that particular trial. There is a promise of God in His word for every difficulty that we encounter in life. For sickness there are healing promises; for financial difficulties we have scriptures that tell of God's provision; for fear there are verses proclaiming that God's love casts out all fear and all of them are available to us because of God's grace and are appropriated into our lives through our faith. Whatever we are experiencing in the natural is subject to change through applying the truth of God's word.
Whatever we focus our attention on will become magnified in our hearts. The bigger the picture is within us the more faith we put into its existence. We may not want it to come into being, but faith is the vehicle that brings into manifestation what we are believing in our hearts. Fear is to the devil what faith is to God. Fear opens the door for the enemy to bring into your life what you don't want to happen.
Job 3:25, 26 For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, And what I dreaded has happened to me. I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, for trouble comes.
The more we look at problems, difficulties, negative world events, etc., the more those things take precedence in our hearts over what God promises in His word. Now, I'm not saying to stick your head in the sand and not keep up with what's going on around us. But, what I am saying, is that we need to put them in proper perspective according to the Word of God. God, as a wonderful Father, has our best interest at heart. He cares about His children and promises to care and provide for them. He instructs us to not worry because worry chokes the life out of a person.
Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Worry – Greek word merimnao; “to divide into parts.” The word suggests a distraction, a preoccupation with things causing anxiety, stress, and pressure.
Worry divides your mind into anxious thoughts and when those those take root and grow they crowd out the faith that you need to bring the promises of God into manifestation. When you worry you feel pressure from outside sources that over-rides the peace that comes from trusting God. Jesus tells us not to worry and be anxious about necessities of life because we are under the care of a watchful heavenly Father who is ever mindful of our daily needs. He will take care of His children.
There is an antidote to worry. It is being Kingdom-minded; seeking first the kingdom of God and simply trusting Him to take care of the rest.
Matthew 6:31-33 “Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' “For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
When you become Kingdom-minded you are mindful of the Father's business and seek to do His will in every situation. Then you trust Him to take care of what you can't. Worry doesn't offer a productive end to anything. It just causes stress, anxiety and unnecessary pressure in your life. He will provide for the things that you need.
Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
Anxious – same Greek word as “worry” in Matthew 6:25. Again, God is saying that worry and anxiety can be eradicated from your life through an antidote! In this verse, the antidote is praying with thanksgiving for what God has already done in your life and committing your fears to Him.
God doesn't want you to ignore those things that are trying to cause you to worry and be afraid. He simply wants you to tell Him about them and commit them into His care. Notice what happens when you do that:
Philippians 4:7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Acrostic written by Edith Rary on January 2, 2004/2/04
Peace comes as we pray, telling God about our needs and problems, and then leaving them with Him to take care of. Notice that the scripture says that the peace of God will “guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”. The picture here is of a Sentinel setting up a guard post at your heart and mind to stop the enemy from bringing harmful thoughts into your heart and mind that would negate the peace that you have placed there through praying and committing your cares to God. That Sentinel keeps out the negative so peace can be magnified in your life.
So, what do we think about if we aren't going to worry? Well, the scripture goes on to say in Philippians 4:8, 9 that we are to think on good things and practice what we have seen in Paul's life that worked for him.
Philippians 4:8 NKJV Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is an virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Philippians 4:9 NIV Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
The way that we cooperate with the Sentinel that has been placed around our hearts and minds through praying and committing our cares to God is by then replacing negative thoughts with God's truth and living our lives patterned after the ones that we see in the Word who have already gained the victory over fear and worry in their own lives. Paul had already learned to pray, commit his problems to the Lord and then to arrest the negative thoughts and replace them with God's truth.
Truth always supersedes facts. It may be a fact that you have an illness. I'm not asking you to deny it, but to subject it to the truth of God's word that healing is yours through the covenant that you have with God through Christ Jesus. (Matthew 8:17) It may be true that your financial status is lacking, but the truth of God's word is that He provides all your needs through His riches in glory. (Philippians 4:19) We may be bombarded with negative world events that show us that our world is spiraling out of control but the truth of God's word is that we are His children and He takes care of His own. (Psalm 55:22) Many times we can't see that the truth is overcoming the negative but our response must be to continue to stand firmly on God's word expecting Him to do what He has promised.
Trust God's heart today! Stand on His word; pray and commit your cares to the Lord and trust Him to take care of you.
Psalm 56:3 Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.
Father, I thank You for Your faithful care of Your children. I know that You love us and care for us and these things that keep coming against us to try to sway us off of our trust in You must be put to an end. Help us to see that You have provided the way of escape for us from the cares that try to attack our minds and hearts. Father, help us to say “no” to negative thoughts of evil and “yes” to Your truth that overcomes and guards our hearts and minds with peace. You are faithful to keep Your promises and I thank You for always providing for Your own. Give us the courage to face our fears with the truth of Your Word. Thank You, Father, for granting us peace in the midst of the storms of life and for giving us the weapons that we need to use to stop the enemy from stealing our peace. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.