Read (from the New Living Translation)

Philippians 4:6-8

6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Go Deep

WBSGbio_JustinJustin Paul shares how worry almost took over when his grandparents got sick. And the powerful lesson that brought him peace. 

Never in the history of worrying has anyone saying, “Don’t worry,” ever made you not worry. People mean well but sentiments like, “Don’t worry. God’s got a plan,” don’t bring much comfort when you’re seeing someone you love slowly deteriorate.

Watching a loved one struggle often leaves you with nothing but worry. In the past 2 years, I’ve lost two of my grandparents (mom’s parents). For both of them, their last few months on earth weren’t easy. They spent most of it with great pain and suffering. And since I live eight hours away, every visit back home was potentially the last time we would see each other.

Cue the anxiety.

Over their final few years, my mom became one of their primary care-takers. Even though she spent far more time with them than I did, that also brought her more worrying. Daily, she worried if it would be the last doctor’s visit, the last meal she would prepare, or the last time she would take them to church.

Paul understood how our circumstances could lead us to worry. But instead of just telling us not to worry, he says to replace our worry with prayer. In doing so, our anxiety gives way to peace. Peace in the struggle? That doesn’t make sense.

My grandmother was the cornerstone of our family and losing her meant everything was going to change. She was also the nurturer and went to great lengths to make sure everyone in our family knew they were loved and important. Who was going to fill that void? Who was going to care when no one else cared? Whose house were we going to for Thanksgiving? (Okay… a little less important but still relevant.)

As my grandmother’s last few days came, my anxiety and questions turned into an indescribable peace. I remember sitting at her funeral, saddened, but at ease. Even though there was an irreplaceable void in our family, I believe God heard our prayers and took our worry.

Your worry… your doubt… your questions… aren’t too big for God. In fact, He invites you to cast all of them on Him and trade them for peace.

I will cast my cares on you
You’re the anchor of my hope
The only one who’s in control

I will cast my cares on you
I’ll trade the troubles of this world
For your peace inside my soul

“Cast My Cares” – Finding Favour

 

Notes from the Beyond Suffering Bible

Anxiety – It is natural to feel anxious when we are in pain or to feel helpless while a loved one struggles. So what can we do about our anxiety and worry? Paul understood the human tendency to let our thoughts spiral downward as we focus on the negative. He urges us to focus our minds on things with eternal value and release our worry through prayer, which leads us into deeper spiritual territory where God can transform us.

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59 comments
  1. Profile photo of Avalanchefan4ever

    Thank you so much to all of you at Way-Fm, Justin Paul for sharing your story, and all of those listeners who fight the devil and demons in prayer. This verse was just what I needed today, as it is exactly what I am struggling with the past couple months. Thank you all again. And thank you God for sending exactly what I needed to be reminded of.

    • Jennifer

      I feel exactly the same way. I,too, needed this today. My world came crashing down on me Sunday night. My anxiety is at an all time high. One of my go to verses is Philippians 4:6-8,but sometimes it’s easier said than done. I’m so thankful for these daily devotionals. They have been ministering to me on a daily basis since Day 1.

    • Thankyou Im going through widowhood andmuch more yet have peace due to great songs that bring the message of hope like yours . God bless you.

  2. Profile photo of Unathi
    Unathi

    So true. Worrying never changes anything, except to make our situation more miserable and to take a toll on our health.

    I’ve heard it said that what we behold (meditate on, look at) is what we become. If we want to be steady and strong during the storms, then we need to focus on the One who is eternally strong and steady.

    I think this is where prayer comes in to help us change our focus. Another idea I’ve heard and found to be true is this: if we look at God through the lens of our problem, He seems small. If we look at our problem through the lens of God, our problem looks small. In other words, if you want God to be bigger and more effective in your life, put Him between you and your problem through prayer. When you focus on Him, He becomes bigger in your faith and you realize that He’s bigger than any problem you face. When you know that to be true, because you keep focusing on Who He Is, peace becomes your constant companion, even through the storms.

    Let us not make our problems seem bigger than our God. He IS able to bring us through the trials of this life victorious.

    • Profile photo of Asher
      Asher

      Expanding on what you said about becoming what we behold, Unathi – I think the same applies for the people we choose to surround ourselves with, especially during times of suffering. They can have a big impact on our perspective, help us relax or push us into more worrying. I find that spending time with someone I want to be like, for example, someone who trusts God, is a great support in hard times.

    • Profile photo of ginnytaijeron

      Our God is awesome, that’s for sure. Well said, and from what I will start doing this because I am guilty of not giving all to God in the beginning. Thank you for sharing and thanks to God who forgives and loves us, and reminds us He is always in control.

    • Profile photo of Amy Crowe

      WOW!!! Thanks for the analogy!! Sure needed that!

  3. Profile photo of Jstnthrgal

    What a perfect message for this time in my life. Now if I can only pray more and worry less I will be on the right path.

  4. Profile photo of Catherine Waters

    Whose house to go to for a holiday, may seem less important, but the reality is that with each passing holiday (especially in the first year following someone’s death), it can bring grief, stress and worry to the whole family. That too is a difficult time to walk through and we need to hold closely to God, praying through it all.

    • Profile photo of WAY-FM
      WAY-FM

      What I’m grateful for is that it ALL matters to God.

  5. Karla Koerner

    Very good! Lots of tears on this one. Cleansing for the soul. Thank you and God bless you.

  6. Cheryl Bullock

    Thank you Justin Paul for telling your story. I also have found that the Bible versus about worry is true, I used to worry about the smallest thing. Then I started to pray about the things that I was worrying about, funny how God works, the worries were not so important any more. There is also the peace of giving everything to God. It took me some time to go to God in prayer about everything, but now I have a great peace. God reminds me everyday about things that He should be worrying about and not me, so I give it to Him right then and life is good.

  7. Profile photo of Angie7309

    I think the thought to meditate on and remember God is in control. Tell him everything.

  8. Profile photo of prairie

    Thank you Way Fm for providing the Worlds Biggest Small group! It seems like I can relate to each person in one way or another. Thank you Justin Paul for your testimony. God is good at giving us reminders,and providing what we need when we need it. ~Matthew 6:25-34.

  9. Profile photo of ashleythompson0214

    thank you for reminding me of this, sometimes I just have so much anxiety, I am in the middle of a divorce and its almost finalized, but I lost a lot in the process I am living with my parents with my daughter and having to ease back into that has been very difficult and just being on my own . We were married 7 years so waking up one day and being alone was really difficut but I also gained a lot I turned to Jesus when my ex told me he was leaving me, I called one of my friends that I havent talked to in awhile she invited me to church and bible study I started going that sunday and I met some great sisters and brothers in Christ, and my whole life has turned around. MY daughter and I got baptized , and I try to remind myself every day that there is a plan and that there is so much out there for me and his love never fails.

    • Profile photo of WAY-FM
      WAY-FM

      Ashley, we are praying for you and your daughter.

  10. Profile photo of jeffl
    jeffl

    I had a time of severe anxiety for almost 2 years. I finally was able to get medical help to treat the symptoms, but during that time Philippians 4:8 was one of my meditation verses.

    “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

  11. Carol Castello

    I felt this exact same way when my grandmother passed away. She told me her Savior was calling her home, who could deny her that great joy. I was so happy for her and sad for me at the same time. The Lord gave me great peace in knowing that he had everything taken care of.

  12. Profile photo of samandsarahanderson@hotmail.com

    I recently lost my Mom and was the primary care giver for 5 years. I found trusting God and verbally saying that helped me so much even if I had to say it 20 times a day!
    I know even now with so much time one my hands that I continue to say I trust you Lord, you are in control, gives me peace.
    Thank God he is taking care of Everything!

    • Profile photo of WAY-FM
      WAY-FM

      We are praying for you as you adjust to this earthly life without your Mom’s physical presence and as you adjust to no longer needing to be a main caregiver – that can be its own transition!

  13. Adam

    I wish it were that easy…Don’t worry…..Ok, got it! I am good now. It does not work that way for me. It is a daily, sometimes minute by minute struggle with me.

    • Profile photo of Unathi
      Unathi

      You’re right, it is a daily struggle. Just like choosing to follow Christ is a daily choice, we have to choose to trust God. We must practice reminding ourselves of His promises and love. As we become practiced at releasing our worries to God instead of holding on to them, we see in our lives a change; we are able to let go of worries more readily and we can embrace the peace more easily as well. Trusting God takes practice. It’ll come.

    • Kelly Colopy

      The key is REPLACE the worry with prayer! It’s not just a decision “Okay, I won’t worry about it” – that’s saying that WE actually have the power to “change” ourselves… instead, when you start to worry, start praying to God about what you’re worrying about. That is when He (God) starts working…takes the worry away… and even when we can’t understand it, just accept it!

      Philippians 4:7New International Version (NIV) 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

  14. Profile photo of JennyChestnut

    I have always believed that worry is the absence of faith. We have to have faith that even in times of turmoil, Jesus is going to work everything for His good, even when we cannot see how that could possibly be true!

  15. Profile photo of Teresa Stephens

    Thanks again to everyone at WAY FM and all those who have shared their stories! Every day! And I mean EVERY day of this study has spoken to my heart and soul! It’s exactly what I need every time! Thanks to Justin today! Finding myself in the midst of that caregiver role, and at least since yesterday, I don’t want to “complain” or apologize for struggling. There’s only One who offers that peace I desire and need! So good to know I’m seen! And He cares! And we don’t have to worry, we just have to pray! God Bless!

    • Profile photo of WAY-FM
      WAY-FM

      Praying for you in the role of caregiver!

  16. Profile photo of Samantha

    So thankful for this message today! The last few days have been extremely stressful for me…to the point where I haven’t slept or eaten anything for over 24-hours. Anxiety makes me physically ill…it totally consumes my life when I’m in it. Which ultimately leads to depression. I do pray to God constantly when my anxiety gets this bad. And I know that he is the only one who ever pulls me through these times. But I will admit that sometimes it’s very hard to see his plan. Sometimes there is lag time between my prayers and my anxiety ultimately giving way to peace. Reading this message this morning has provided a little bit of that peace. Thank you!

    • Profile photo of WAY-FM
      WAY-FM

      Samantha, I get it! I have pretty “thin skin” so anxiety really gets me. I was one day “behind” in my Jesus Calling devotional when I opened it this morning but yesterday’s (October 17) was perfect for what Justin talked about in today’s devo. If you can find a copy to read it may be something helpful for you too! I will be praying peace for you.

    • Shannon

      Hi Samantha,
      I too share the pain of letting Anxiety consume me. I have learned that my anxiety and depression make me physically ill and I try so hard to keep above it so that I can avoid everything that comes with it. As much as I love God and know that he is there for me I have never been able to handle knowing his will may not be exactly as I want. I trust God but I have issues with allowing him total control and learning to just let go and take things as they come. I have a lot of sleepless nights and bad days because of it. I am trying to learn that God loves me enough that he wants the best for me and his will for my life is exactly what I need and where I need to be if I can fully get there I know I will be a much happier healthier person but the challenge is getting there. I will be praying for both of us that we can let go of the stress and anxiety and fully hand our worries over to God.

  17. Profile photo of Lynne King

    Like Justin, I am watching someone I love dearly suffer in his last days. My husband has cancer. I try to focus on the good things we still have, and not worry about what will happen. But it is SO very hard some days. But I know that God sees us, and hears us, and that He knows what’s in our hearts. And that gets me through some rough times. Not all of them, I still break down and cry….a lot. And I still worry about things. I guess that is what Faith is for. I’m so happy I found Jesus when I did, because without the Holy Spirit in me I couldn’t survive these troubled waters.

    • Profile photo of WAY-FM
      WAY-FM

      Lynne, we are praying for you and your husband. May the Lord bless you and keep you and make his face to shine upon you.

  18. Debbie braaten

    I am so sorry about your grandparents. And yes, even “where will we have Thanksgiving”. It’s not just “where”, it’s the wonderful place, feelings of love, the smells, special tastes, being together.
    I miss that too.

  19. Margie

    Beautiful song! Thank you for this group! 😊

  20. Robin Wilson

    Often when I am worrying about something or someone I pray and ask God to take care of the problem or person for me. But a few minutes or an hour or day later I find myself picking that worry back up and have to go back and give it back to God again. I sometimes have to do this over and over because I have a hard time leaving it alone and letting God work it out in His time frame and not mine. I know I’m weak in this area, or maybe proud and stubborn, I don’t know which, so I just keep giving it back to Him asking Him to help me leave it in His capable, loving hands.

  21. Profile photo of Hestia Warren

    Thank you for sharing. Sometimes we wondering why certain messages are brought to us on certain days. They are to help us it is God’s way of speaking to us through others. It’s easy to say don’t have anxiety or worry but it’s Justin said going to happen.

  22. Profile photo of Katie
    Katie

    Needed this today.. have been going through a lot of stress but God is always the one who brings me right back to where I need to be!

  23. Profile photo of Ashley
    Ashley

    Thank you for sharing. Very well said!

  24. Profile photo of CSharp
    CSharp

    Thanks for this Day 14 devotional, I really try to use Philippians 4:6 daily. Verse 8 helps when God want me to make rash decisions especially when things get to crazy at times. Thanks for all you do!

  25. Profile photo of Big Country

    Wow! Beautifully written. It about brought tears remembering my Grandparent’s last days. It is weird the peace through the worrying. I was working at a church camp and decided to take off to spend the final days with my grandma. I remember worrying at first not being at camp, but being there brought peace. About 4 months later after my grandma was gone, I remember leaving my grandpa after thanksgiving worried, and anguished knowing I would never see him again. But yet somehow I was at peace despite the tears and sadness of that time frame. God has a way of comforting us and reminding us not to worry as it is out of our hands. It’s his way to get us to trust him and his plan is taking shape and worrying solves nothing even though we tend to do it. Thanks again for this lesson.

  26. Profile photo of damarysv

    Thank you for sharing!! Thank you God for your peace

  27. JD

    Great story of the power of God!
    This what I know, when a storm comes hold on to what God has done for you in the past, focus on all the good things in your life and give the rest to God. Faith is trusting in what God says in His promises. There is always a purpose for every season in our lives.

  28. Robbie P.

    I want to think I am not a worrier. I really like how Justin said replace your worry with prayer. How cool would that be to pray EVERY time you start to worry!

  29. Bernice Smith

    Amen

  30. Profile photo of carto877

    I heard part of this on the radio and I thought wow I didn’t tell my daughter to do that. I did tell her to pray but not every time. A lot of times I just told her God is in control don’t worry. God please forgive me for not always telling and showing her how to pray through her worries. She is now 27 and does pray more now and has less worry. But after I read this I was upset with myself for not telling and showing her all the times she worried as a little girl.
    Thank you for sharing

  31. Profile photo of Chelle1984

    Just join the group really needed to hear that message!! Thank u

  32. Profile photo of Becky Wolberg

    Never really thought about it but now I wonder how many prayers would have already been answered if I had only prayed about my worry instead of actually worrying. This is going to be an exercise I need to start doing more often than I am.

  33. Profile photo of ralphsgal

    This reminds me of when my brother,Kenny passed away in February, 2015. We had been estranged for many years but when I found out he was dying, I spent as much time with him as I could. It was like we had made up for all of the lost time. I was there during his last days up until he passed into the arms of Jesus. I am still amazed by the peace that the Lord blessed me with during that time. I am blessed to have gotten to spend the time with him that I did. Thank you, Jesus for giving me peace and strength as I said goodbye to Kenny. Lord, thank you for Your grace. Father God, I am so amazed by how much You love me. You know this year has been one trial after another for me. I am so blessed that I can turn to You for comfort and peace. Thank you for Your faithfulness. I’m Jesus’s name I pray. Amen

  34. Profile photo of Susan
    Susan

    I love singing that song, it always feels like I am literally throwing cares to God. It is so healing. My God is so big! thanks

  35. Cody Deno

    I can relate with Justin. I used to worry a lot, about the silliest things, too.

    Thankfully, God has helped me not worry so much, but there are times when my worry creeps back up and tries to gain control over me. This is when I pray. I say a simple pray such as,”God take my worries, I give them up to you,” and this brings me indescribable peace. Phillipians 4:6-8 really speaks to me; I actually memorized it a couple months ago, long before WBSG.

    GOD IS the only One in control.

  36. Profile photo of bridget0394

    I love that we can cast our cares on God. In return he gives us freedom and peace. That peace is definitely indescribable. I am still blown away that since I became a Christian I can go to a funeral and NOW feel JOY instead of sadness. Yes I am sad to lose them , but I am rejoicing that they are going home, To a much better place and Jesus was waiting on them with open arms.

  37. Amanda

    Wow! I am a little behind in the WBSG readings but this one came at the right time. My grandma is in the hospital because of a bone infection. They are giving her medicine but it’s going to take 6-weeks. While she’s been at the hospital, my parents have been taking care of grandpa because he has dementia. I went up to see her with my dad and grandpa yesterday. She hasn’t been eating much because of the pain so they put in a feeding tube. When I saw her, she looked bad. She’s lost a lot of weight and is on a muscle relaxers that make her drowsy. In that moment, I was worried that my grandma would lose this battle and die. I’ve never thought that before. We always thought grandpa would pass away before grandma. But it kind of scared me. I knew these verses but really needed to read them. Sometimes you forget to turn to God in the midst of your struggles. Before we left the hospital, my dad prayed with his mom. He didn’t forget to cast his cares on God. I am so lucky to have a Godly example in my dad. Thank you for this reminder to not worry, but PRAY!!

  38. Rahel

    I was so tired of what’s going on in my life. Thank you for the incouraging words. God bless you my dear.

  39. Wendy

    I have been struggling with anxiety for a few months now. I ray and ask God to,take away these thoughts. I am missing out on things as getting this under control seems so,hard. I am glad I am not alone on this journey.
    Praise God that I can co time to,pray and relief will find me one day.

  40. Kathleen Kauffman

    I worry about a lot, but I was told once to memorize Philippians 4:6-8, and I said it in front of Central Christian’s singles group. I felt really out of place because I know I didn’t pray over my anxieties. I was not who I wanted to be. I was struggling then too. But God understands, and He understands my heart today as well so I give my life to Him over and over every day. That’s all I can do.