George Müller was a missionary in the 1800s who also started and coordinated orphanages in England. He never asked for money, never raised funds, and never accepted money for speaking engagements. He took in over 120,000 orphaned children through faith and prayer alone.
He traveled to 42 countries to preach God’s word and kept a journal where he recorded miracle after miracle of God’s provision and answered prayer. One day there was only enough food left for 100 people in the orphanage, so staying on-brand, Müller turned to prayer. That’s when the doorbell rang, and a woman stood there with more than enough food for the next day’s needs.
On a different day, there was absolutely no food in the house and no money to buy any food. So Müller turned to the children and lifted his hands up to pray, “Dear Father, we thank you for what you’re going to give us to eat.” Then, a knock on the door. A baker stood there and told Müller he had a feeling the orphanage needed food, so he got up in the middle of the night to bake fresh bread. This visit was followed by the milkman, whose cart broke down in front of the orphanage, leading him to give the children his cans of fresh milk.
It might just be our resistance to great trials that keeps us from great faith. However, great trials don’t need to be feared because we have a good shepherd who stays with us through the darkest valleys.
Such was the case with the church at Philippi.
To remain in a place of rest isn’t to remove the anxiety-inducing people, places, things, and situations from your life. That would be impossible. To remain in a place of rest means that we have learned to live among them all without the need for anxiety.
He is near to us in both physical and emotional proximity. He’s everywhere all the time. If we walk through our entire lives leaning on Jesus to support the full weight of our souls, we will never fall over. He knows what’s happening inside us and exactly how we feel.
God is not some far-away, far-off, distant, and disengaged creator who did a set-it-and-forget-it type of thing. On the contrary, he’s intimately involved in every aspect of His creation. His love and care can be seen in every detail. And He has such a gentle forbearance for us.
Prayer – any conversation with our Father
Petition – asking for things
Our faith is proven in our thankfulness. It’s not as simple as saying thank you, it’s something that’s lived out. Faith is executed and evidenced through our obedience. So, after we petition God for our requests, we should walk in the assurance that they have been provided, keeping in mind that when we pray, it should always be according to the will of God.
As we submit our situations to God in prayer and live out our thankfulness for His provisions, the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds. The key to the gateway of peace is surrender. Submit your request and leave the outcome with Him. And then walk the pathway of peace.
If you want peace, don’t distract yourself from the eternal by focusing on the temporal. Instead, you can retrain your brain by focusing on positive things. Focusing our attention on things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, virtuous, and worthy of praise is how we retrain our brains to live anxiety-free. It’s part of how we remain focused on the kingdom of heaven instead of the empires of earth.
But it’s hard to stay focused when we have to deal with the aftermath of every decision our lawmakers make. So, the temptation is to try and fix the things that are broken, to fight, argue, or call people out. But that never promotes peace.
Here’s the bottom line, you can’t manufacture peace, it can’t be fabricated, and it can’t rely on you. No amount of positive change can add to your peace of mind – when one matter is settled, another will backfill it. Alternatively, no amount of negative change can take away from your peace either.
Everything is a matter of perspective. If the desires of your heart and the focus of your mind are set on earthly things, your internal panic button will never be out of reach. If the desires of your heart and focus of your mind are set on heavenly things, there is no panic button because only God can press it in that case, and he never will.
Imagine God spiraling.
Oh no! Gabriel, what are we going to do?!!!
Living your life as a soul at rest and remaining free from anxiety is a learned skill. It has to be experienced through the trials of life for it to become habit-forming.
Now, trials will come, but not because we deserve them, as though we’ve done something we shouldn’t have. Sometimes the results we leave to God don’t always work out in a way that we would consider favorable to us. So, we’ve done nothing wrong, and we’re still perfectly safe in the hands of God. Our faith is being strengthened, and in that, we can rejoice!
Rejoice in the Lord. He is near to you.
Don’t be anxious but pray with thanksgiving, and the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds. When we rest in Him, we experience the peace of God, and when we add to that the focusing on His Kingdom and living it out, we experience the God of peace.
Again, rejoice in the Lord. He is near to you.