Living Serenely

“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.”

— Philippians 4:6–7, niv

One of the best definitions of worry that I’ve ever heard is “interest you pay on debts you may never owe.” Have you paid interest like that recently?

Worry and anxiety take a great toll on our minds and bodies. For example, research has shown that anxiety causes high blood pressure. Researchers placed a mouse in a cage. At another location within the mouse’s sight, they placed a cat in a cage. The cat had no contact with the mouse: their cages weren’t close together, the cat never escaped from its cage, and the cat never had an opportunity to threaten the mouse. But the cat was in the same room, and the mouse knew it. The mouse kept its eyes on the cat all the time. Six to twelve months of testing revealed the mouse had developed very high blood pressure. Nothing had happened to it. Its life had never been in jeopardy. But worry almost killed it.

So many of us are like that mouse, seeing potential danger and borrowing trouble that may never come. Worry is the sand the Devil wants to throw into the machinery of your life. If you let it, worry will tear up your body and rip apart your mind.

Instead of worrying, we should pray about our concerns, giving them to our Lord. As one person said, “When I worry, I go to the mirror and say to myself, ‘This tremendous thing which is worrying me is beyond a solution. It is especially too hard for Jesus Christ to handle.’ After I have said that, I smile and then I am ashamed.” If we would only learn the secret of faith, we could live serene lives. Paul said, “Be anxious for nothing.” Paul’s word for anxiety (merimnao) means “to rip in half.” Don’t let potential problems rip you in half. Stop paying interest into that bank. Instead, hand your concerns to Jesus today. Let Him take care of them and, in their place, give you peace that surpasses understanding.

“Peace is such a precious jewel that I would
give anything for it but truth.”
Matthew Henry