"And take heed to yourselves (be aware), lest at any time your hearts be overcharged (weighed down) with surfeiting (excessiveness), and drunkenness (attempt to be at peace with yourself), and cares of this life, and so that day came upon you." Luke 21:34
Habbakuk was overwhelmed by the devastation surrounding him; he couldn't get his focus off the violence and injustice that was happening in his country. After a sincere prayer, fully expecting God would respond to his questions, he waited in a position of watchful expectation (staying aware and listening). God's glory appeared. "I will stand upon my watch (life), and set me upon a tower (a high level of awareness, an uplifted state and perception), and will watch (be aware in my life) to see what He will say to me, and what I shall answer when I am instructed." Habbakuk 2:1. The example of the prophet Habakkuk encourages believers to wait on the Lord, expecting that He will work out all things for our good (Romans 8:28).
There is so much going on in the world; it seems as if the pressures around us keep increasing. We can't turn on the news without hearing about some disaster. What do we do about it? Psalm 138:8 says, "The Lord will perfect that which concerns me..." The word concern is the same as cares. Both words are used as an attitude that can cause worry and fear; these are the opposites of faith. They are detructive emotions, they are tormenting, they zap our strength, they can make us sick and they slowly undermine our faith, keeping us from God's peace. Worry and fear are the result of not trusting God. They occur when we face a situation and choose to rely upon our mind, thoughts, emotions and our own abilities.
There is no profit in fretting about tomorrow today because today requires the same amount of mental and physical energy, and tomorrow will demand the same. Nothing happens in the universe that is outside of God's influence and authority; He has no limitations. God's Word says there is peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Without peace, we cannot have joy. Satan wants to make us worry and become fretful because that will destroy our peace. Our responsibility is to trust and obey God, confident that His grace will carry us (Philippians 1:6). When we are preoccupied with problems, we become anxious and upset. But, if we concentrate on God and His extravagant love for us, we find peace. True peace comes from knowing God is in control. Let God's peace guard your heart against worry and fear. When we surrender our control over the concerns of life to God, there is power. We have to choose to believe our gracious God is faithful and He will work out our concerns for us. Trusting in God wholeheartedly is the kind of faith that leads us into lives of peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7).
In II Chronicles 20, Jehoshaphat learned a great multitude was coming against him. When the word of the invasion reached him, he was afraid and prayed to God for guidance (he was practicing the law of casting, I Peter 5:7). "...for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee." II Chronicles 20:12. Recognizing his helpless position and determined to hear from God, he commanded his people to gather for a fast (the fast was to stop discussing what could happen and focus on the living God). "...thy name is in this house..." (vs 9). The Lord answered Jehoshaphat's prayer telling him He would defeat the enemy without fighting. Because the Lord moved in a supernatural way, the abundance they discovered took them three days to gather (II Chronicles 20:25). The battle was followed by a celebration of peace and thanksgiving to God for the great victory.
God cares about us affectionately and He doesn't want us to worry or be fretful. He does not ask us to do anything we cannot do. God wouldn't tell us not to worry or be fretful if it were not possible for us to be free of worry and fear. I Peter 5:7 tells us to cast our cares upon Him (Jesus). If we worry and hold on to our cares, it's difficult to get our prayers answered. But, if we turn our cares over to the Lord, He will work on our situation, even while we are asleep. As believers in Christ, we should be glad to know we can get out from under the burden of worry, fear, anxiety by faith, trust, prayer, a positive attitude and obeying. Give it to God and live in His grace (divine favor, blessings, power). Give yourself, your worries and your fears to God and begin to enjoy the abundant life He has planned for you.
Lord Jesus Christ, I cast all my cares upon You; for You care for me (I Peter 5:7). Holy Spirit, I release my cares for others to You. I now take heed so that I refuse to allow myself to be consumed by the cares of life. By the Holy Spirit's ability in me, I will continuously cast all my emotional cares upon You Lord so You will perfect them. Holy Spirit, without You, I will not get this right, but with You, I can do all things. The excellency of the power of my life is always in me; it is You, Holy Spirit (II Corinthians 4:7). I say this to be so. By Jesus Christ's name. Amen.