by Sarah Young, excerpted fromJesus Today Devotional Journal
Do not be anxious...
Use your trials and troubles to draw closer to Me.
Whenever you start to feel distressed, turn that around by talking with Me. Let pain and problems remind you of your constant need for Me. Create a collection of brief prayers, such as: “Help me, Jesus. Fill me with Your Peace. Show me Your way.” These requests are spiritual nutrients — soul vitamins. The more you use them, the healthier and happier you will be.
When you view troubles in this way — as reminders to draw near Me — you can actually rejoice in your trials.
Of course, this requires training your mind to move quickly from problem mode to prayer mode. It is crucial to have your arsenal of prayers ready to use.
Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in your preparations, helping you form prayers that will flow readily out of your heart. Then practice saying them to Me until you’re intimately familiar with them. When you encounter trouble of any kind, reach into your arsenal of prayers and speak one or more of them boldly. The enemy will retreat, and I will draw near.
Which prayers should go into your prayer arsenal? Let them be health and life to you. The Spirit will show you how.
Teach me Your way, O Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. — Psalm 27:11
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials. — James 1:2 NASB
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. — James 4:7–8 NKJV
Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul. — Psalm 143:8
Come to Me when you are hurting. Voice your trust in Me, and seek to become aware of My Love all around you. Breathe in the Peace of My Presence: Peace that transcends understanding.
Take time, take time with Me.
To experience the Joy of My Presence, you need to sit quietly, focusing your thoughts on Me. Say no to plans and problems as they try to creep into your mind. Say yes to Me — to My Joy and Peace, My unfailing Love.
Living close to Me is all about transcendence. The world is full of trouble, but I have overcome the world! I call you to transcend your troubles by looking up to Me. Assert your confidence in Me, saying, “I trust You, Jesus. You are my Hope.” Short prayers such as these — voiced almost continuously — will help you live transcendently: seated with Me in heavenly realms. I am training you to be an overcomer — unfettered by circumstances.
Take some time with Me so you can explore new ways to say yes to Me. This is how I train overcomers.
Do not be anxious about anything, 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 hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. — Philippians 4:6-7
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” — John 16:33 NKJV
God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. — Ephesians 2:6
Excerpted with permission from Jesus Today Devotional Journal by Sarah Young, copyright Sarah Young.