Stressed or Blessed?

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“A perfect faith would lift us absolutely above fear.” – George MacDonald

The question haunted me: How could I say I was living a life of faith when I was anxious so much of the time?  I began to ask God to deliver me from worry and grow my faith in His character and His Word. As He answers my request, here is what I am learning:

Listen first.
Before I pray, I listen to God in order to try to understand His will in the matter I am concerned about. Then I pray a prayer that, to the best of my ability, is in keeping with His will. Partnering with God this way engenders faith.

Pray boldly.
I try to ask honestly and boldly for what I need from God and what I have discerned He wants to give me. No more wimpy prayers.

• Testify confidently.
When God answers my prayers, I share the good news with others. My faith nurtures theirs and their faith nurtures mine.

• Respond thankfully.
Whether my faith is big or small, I commit to giving God the all the credit and praise for what He does.

• Persevere patiently. 
My faith is growing, but I have far to go.  So, I remain committed to following God’s faith-building plan and am thrilled with every evidence of progress.

And, here’s the good news: I am finding that worry and faith cannot exist in my mind at the same time. If I worry, faith disappears. If I exercise faith, worry flees. I get to choose which of the two I want to live with. By God’s grace, I am learning to choose faith and my life is changing gradually from anxious to peaceful. Yours can, too. Ask Him to help you grow your faith in Him. That is a prayer He is eager to answer!

“So 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)

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