What happens when our 33-year-old, 35-week-pregnant daughter-in-law with five children ages seven and under tells us that it is likely she has breast cancer and needs to be induced as soon as possible to recover from childbirth for a few weeks before surgery to remove the tumor?
I am faced with a decision. What will I do with my mind? Will I take my thoughts captive, or will I let fear and worry consume me? “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Years ago, in my time of depression, that verse was God’s lifeline from negative, self-focused thinking, which is at the root of fear and worry, into trust and rest.
What does God’s Word tell me about an overwhelming situation like this or any other situation I face? Do I believe His Word, and if so, will I act on it?
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3). Where is my mind to be? It is to be on God not on the circumstances. When I choose trust, God tells me peace is the result. Trust and rest.
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). What am I not to do—worry? “Be careful for nothing,” is the King James way of saying: don’t worry, don’t be anxious. I am to pray with thanksgiving. That is trusting God, and the outcome is peace. Trust and rest.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). If I am worrying, which is a form of fear, it is not of God. He has given us power, love, and a sound mind. Trust and rest.
Those are just four of a multitude of verses in Scripture that we can believe and rely on that lead us to trust and rest.
The reality is that every day we are given opportunities, in small ways, to learn the path to trusting and resting. Those little things that cause worry and fear may not seem to matter so much if we let them sit on our minds, but they are our training ground. Just like we give our children daily assignments in school to prepare them for the exam, God gives us daily opportunities to trust and rest to prepare us for the storms, if and when they come. These daily trials are developing our habits of life. Will we choose to take the thoughts captive? Will we trust and rest?