Today’s Truth

Do not worry about anything. But pray and ask God for everything you need. And when you pray, always give thanks. And God’s peace will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. The peace that God gives is so great that we cannot understand it (Philippians 4:6-7 ICB).

 

 

Friend to Friend

Stress management is a spiritual discipline that begins with diligent preparation in every area of life – mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual. We must be ready to deal with stress before we are required to deal with stress. 

Dealing with stress is an ongoing daily battle that will not end on this side of Heaven. To win that battle, we must be prepared. While there is no single secret to handling stress, God’s Word is filled with many truths that can enable and empower us to deal with stress in a healthy, productive, and God-honoring way.  

Sometimes the most familiar passages of scripture are also the most overlooked. Psalm 23 is one of those passages. I often find myself rushing to this psalm for peace and comfort in the aftermath of a stressful situation. However, I have discovered that Psalm 23 is also a powerful tool for dealing with stress on an everyday basis.  

If you are like me, I tend to handle the major calamities in life better than the mundane, ordinary but definitely stress-inducing minutiae of daily living. A study of Psalm 23 has led me to believe that it is often the small pebble in my shoe, rather than the massive boulder on my path, that causes the greatest stress in my life. Life is so daily! Fortunately, so is God.

While I cannot imagine my world without the presence and power of Jesus Christ, I am often guilty of living as if He does not exist. The result is a stress-filled life. 

A trial comes and I try to handle it on my own. 

Loneliness empties my heart and instead of reaching out to Him, I withdraw into the darkness where stress is waiting to fill that emptiness with anxiety and fear. 

Still, God is faithful. 

His peace is a soothing balm that leads me once again to the manger and away from stress. Emmanuel, God with me! He steps into my life and changes everything. When He comes, stress is stripped away, and tranquility is given in its place. 

“Do not worry about anything. But pray and ask God for everything you need. And when you pray, always give thanks. And God’s peace will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. The peace that God gives is so great that we cannot understand it” (Philippians 4:6-7 ICB).

When I find myself wishing I could have been there that holy night when Jesus was born, He gently reminds me that I had my own manger experience, when God became a personal reality in my life. I have my own holy moments each and every day as I reach out to Him and He is there, right in the middle of my common, ordinary, and often smelly circumstances.  

Stress has no place in a heart that kneels before the manger. Stress is powerless in a life that continually seeks God and chooses to surrender to His love and care – like the sheep surrender to the love and care of their Shepherd. Psalm 23 describes the intimate, personal, and trusting relationship between sheep and shepherd, between child and father, and is not only a beautiful portrait of God’s complete and faithful provision, but an arsenal of stress-busting truths and principles that, when embraced and applied, will empower, and equip us to live a life of peace and victory.  

 

Let’s Pray

Father, thank You for Your unconditional love and forgiveness. Help me focus on You and Your presence in my life each day. I pray that any stress in my heart will be swallowed up in the reality that You are faithful and in control. I know You are not surprised by anything that comes my way and will transform the good into better, the unthinkable into the unstoppable, and the unbelievable into fact. I praise You for the amazing way You guide me and lift me up when I fall.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Now It’s Your Turn

Are you afraid of what the day holds? Do you dread facing whatever comes your way? Or do you focus on God and His promises? Make the choice today to walk in faith, peace, and victory. 

 

More from the Girlfriends

Stress is one of the enemy’s favorite weapons to use against me. I constantly have to bring my heart and mind back to God. I know how hard it is to stay balanced and at peace. Need help? Check out my book, Escaping the Stress Trap, to discover nine steps you can take to manage stress…instead of allowing it to manage you.

 

 

 

© 2023 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved. 

10 Responses to “The Antidote to Worry”

  1. Avatar photo Carol says:

    Good Am. Mary and “Thank You” for this devotion.
    God has been gently showing me, that the spirit of anxiety has taken a toll, for most of my life, with out me really seeing “it”.
    “It” has been quietly creeping into a lot of daily life decisions; choked out opportunities, talents and capabilities. How did I not see “it”?
    So, I’m going to lean into Romans 12:2, and as Paul wrote about “renewing” my thoughts;which I’m sure he had to do constantly, being in prison. Only difference? Mine, is a situation of my own making.
    With God’s continuing guidance and my trusting in the scripture, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Is. 42:19) I’ve been the wasteland! Not anymore.
    “God, Thank you for your faithfulness, and mercy. Give your blessings to the GIG writers and all the daily readers, with renewed spirits and minds. In Jesus name..Amen”

  2. Avatar photo Mardiece says:

    Thank you, Mary. Your messages are always so authentic and inspiring. I appreciate your faithfulness in sharing your godly wisdom! God bless you.

  3. Avatar photo Linda says:

    Mary…I always relate to your devotions. The road you travel and your pain often is relatable to me. Thank you for sharing how you handle your struggles in a Godley way. It’s very helpful to have practical advice to implement and follow. God is using your pain to help me and probably many others. Thank you for being faithful.

  4. Avatar photo Sheila says:

    Morning Mary
    Thank you for this devotion today. I wake up anxious everyday. And it has taken a big toll on my life. It’s like a ball in my stomach that won’t go away. I have an addict son living with us that causes a lot of it. I have a friend that is going through the same thing for years and she told me to never stop praying but to try and focus on fixing myself and not him. I’m praying for peace strength and guidance t from God through this journey. And believe me this has been a journey. I have a testimony I want to share about a prayer being answered. I’m October I lost a contact in my eye. After my eye being infect and going to 3 different eye doctors and all said the same thing the contact was not in my eye. It started working on me mentally I was on so many different antibiotics and nothing changing I had blood work done to try and diagnose what was wrong. So one morning in April o woke up got in the shower stood there and prayed God please heal my eye. Got dressed doctored my eye a few minutes later I felt something in my eye I pulled my eye lid up and saw something I took a q tip to get it out. It was the contact. In 2 days my eye was free of infection. If God can heal something that small I know he can fix everything else. So I know in his time he is going to heal my son from his addiction.

    Blessings to everyone

  5. Avatar photo Joy says:

    Thank you, Mary! Just what I needed today! I have a hard time trusting my husband’s “business decisions”. He has made so many bad ones inspite of my truly loving opinion and advice. I love him very much but we are about to undertake yet another (what I see as a) bad mistake. We are in our twilight years with not much of a nest egg. Hmm… thankfully God is in control… right?

  6. Carol, thank you for your kind words of encouragement, but the reality is that we all need to be on guard against the weapons of fear and anxiety. Satan loves to cripple us in that way. we just need to be on guard, stay in the Word, and trust the Father to direct our steps.

    Blessings!

  7. Mardiece, you are so welcome … and thank you for your faithfulness in Kingdom work. Blessings!

  8. Linda, thank you for your kind words of encouragement. What a gift they are. There is nothing more amazing than seeing the results of God working through you to impact the lives of others. Blessings to you!

  9. Sheila, thank you for sharing how God worked in your life through a contact … of all things. What an amazing God we serve. He’s Lord of the big things and the little things. Praise God. Blessings!

  10. Joy, thank you for sharing your struggle with me. Have you shared your concerns and feelings with your husband? If so, step out of the way and let God work in your husband’s life. God will honor your obedience and faith. And yes! God is definitely in control. Blessings!

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