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Your Comfort Zone

August 13th, 2009

“Do not be anxious about anything.” Philippians 4:6 NIV.

“Prayer is the better option, and wonderful, supernatural peace is the result.”

My thoughts today are about “your comfort zone.”

I guess that anxiety is a pretty common malady. There will be times, occasions, and experiences in which you will feel some measure of apprehension. I think the key to freeing yourself from such anxious moments is to face the feelings, recognize their origin, and then do what you must inspite of your hesitation. Don’t allow yourself to become immobilized by your nervousness. Indulging such feelings will shrink the size of your world, diminish your confidence, and waste sometimes irreplaceable opportunities.

I confess to feeling anxious about things more often than I wish I were. I get uptight when I am unsure of where I am going, while Gayle is thrilled to be somewhere she hasn’t been before. She’s never lost; she has just found a new way to go. When I first meet someone I do not know, I am uncomfortable, while Gayle has just met a new, best friend. That usually occurs when I am forced out of my comfort zone – an unfamiliar person or place, an uncomfortable situation, an unusual experience, or an uncertain outcome. But real life – full and fulfilling life – is primarily lived outside of your comfort zone. That’s where adventure and vibrant life are found.

Anxiety is usually the product of being unsure of your capacity or capability – of feeling inadequate to meet the challenge before you. That appraisal may be a fact, but here’s the truth: there is nothing that you cannot face with God at your side – absolutely nothing. Read Romans 8:31-32/37-39 NIV. There is no human experience that has the power to separate you from God and His love! When anything – even when everything – is uncertain, that life-changing truth is not! Anchor your soul in God’s love. See Hebrews 6:19-20 NKJV. Find your comfort zone in God.

Anxiety is not the problem. The problem is what anxiety causes. Allowing anxiety to cause you to not do what you know you should do, that’s the problem. Allowing your feelings to dissuade you from doing what God wants, that’s the problem. When I first began pastoring at 21, I felt inadequate and ill equipped – anxious about the responsibility that was mine for people’s lives and souls. See Hebrews 13:17 NKJV. God gave me a verse that I quoted to myself each time I approached the pulpit, and do still today, “Faithful is He that calls you Who also will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24 KJV.

That’s why the Bible says, “Do not be anxious about anything.” Philippians 4:6. But keep reading; God is giving you a better option. “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 heart and mind in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NIV.

Prayer is the better option, and supernatural peace – peace beyond natural comprehension or explanation – is the result. Before anything external even changes, everything within you is different. Don’t fret about it; don’t cry about it; just pray about it. “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart.” Psalm 27:14 NKJV. Take the matter to God and leave it with Him.

Analyze the situation that is causing you to be anxious. Ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that can happen?” When you find strength from God to accept that, your anxious moments are not so anxious. And to your delight you will find as we all do that the reality is always better that you feared it might be. Maybe this can be summed up in some simple advice a friend gave me long ago. “Prepare for the worst, but always expect the best!” Do the first and you won’t be surprised; do the latter and you won’t be disappointed.

My prayer for you today is that you live confidently, unafraid of today or tomorrows.

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