26 May 2021

Jesus Can Work It Out

Today’s subject may not be the most appealing, but I think at some point in our lives it bears acknowledging and then after acknowledging it then addressing. That is the subject of FEAR. I think we all are probably guilty of dealing with FEAR like the elephant in the room – meaning we know it’s there but we expect it to go away if we attempt to ignore it. Quite honestly FEAR is not something that will die for lack of attention. Because it’s like yeast, it maximizes in size and degree.

When I was a little girl, I was overtaken every night by the spirit of fear. I was fine all day long but when darkness came, fear was its sidekick! I would make a pallet on the floor on my Mom’s side of the bed and hold her hand until I went to sleep. This of course was after I got too big to sleep in the bed with my parents. Thankfully, both of them were extremely patient with me and neither of them tried to force me to tough it out and stay in my room! My Dad’s only rule was that I didn’t sleep between them. Ever since then, I am always sensitive to children who experience fears, and as a pastor and counselor I lend that same empathy and sensitivity to adults as well. Because I feel it is something we all struggle with at some point in our lives and how we address it makes the difference in our approach to life and all that comes with it.

When we can no longer find comfort in those uncertain and fearful times as we did when we were children, what can we do? The scripture I chose for today is a very familiar one, and it comes from Philippians 4: 6 & 7. “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.” I want to kind of dissect those two verses. The word “anxious” means to be full of mental distress of uneasiness or to be greatly worried. Don’t you sometimes wonder, (and I hope I’m not the only one), but do you ever wonder why God created us with these emotions and then tells us NOT to do that? Well, He knows He is the only divine One, and we as humans are prone to mistakes . . . but He always gives us an antidote!! That’s the great part in all of this! The scripture goes on to say but in EVERYTHING, not some things, not a few things, but in EVERYTHING, by prayer and petition, partnered with THANKSGIVING we should present our requests to God. Requests for what? ANYTHNG AND EVERYTHING! And that includes those things we fear, the things that make us anxious, and things we WORRY about! I used to wonder if God ever gets tired of us coming to Him. This scripture settled that question for me – the answer if NO!

If I were to ask you a question, it would be this . . . has anything ever been settled or answered, or any fears dispelled by you worrying about them? The conclusion to that scripture gives us the assurance that if we PRESENT our concerns, no matter how great or how simple in the manner prescribed here in this passage, what we can expect to come out of it is PEACE. So how do we know if you have not followed what has been outlined in this scripture — well if we’re still struggling with it, still agonizing, still losing sleep, still trying to FIGURE IT OUT – that’s how!!! FEAR is the “child” that is birthed out of WORRY, ANXIETY, RESTLESSNESS. Because we become fearful that whatever THIS THING IS that is the unknown or the unresolved will not work out in our favor!! But another simple thing that I have come to use when I’m praying or even having a conversation with myself — I just say . . . well God if you brought me through XYZ, I know you can bring me through ABC!! Sometimes we hold on to things that God never intended for us to bear! He never promised our lives would be perfect, but He gives promises in His Word that never fail or lie.

Psalm 34: 19 A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.

Psalm 37: 25 I have been young, and now am old; Yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”

There’s a gospel song that came out when my granddaughter was a toddler and she had to hear it every day. It was what the old folks say it was a “toe tapper”!! It was upbeat and really got you moving. The name of it was “Jesus Can Work It Out”! I must admit it really got me through some dark days.

The verse says . . “That problem that I had I just couldn’t seem to solve, I tried and I tried but I kept gettin’ deeper involved,

So I turned it over to Jesus and I stopped worryin’ about it, Turned it over to the Lord and He Worked It Out!”

Now that was the verse but it was my husband that brought more light to the lyrics that came within the chorus! Jesus can work it out . . . IF YOU LET HIM!! That’s the KEY!! We have to let Him! And when we do, He never fails to work it out for our good every single time! Is the waiting sometimes tough, is it sometimes scary, is it sometimes frustrating – YOU BET IT IS! But the Savior trumps FEAR every time!!