Answer questions 1-4 in the Bible study section of Hidden Joy.
1. List what brings you contentment. Quiet children, attentive husband, paid bills, paid rent, good food, feeling God really close to me
2. List what steals your contentment and brings anxiety, stress, and worry. The kids being brats, my husband ignoring me, not having money for bills, rent or food, when God feels far away. I have a tendency to be a very negative thinker.
3. What do you spend the most time worrying about? Screwing something up or my marriage
a. Which of these are under your control? Depends on how you look at it
b. Which of these are not under your control? same as above
4. Read Philippians 4:6–7. This passage tells us not to worry but to pray about everything. Worrying is self-centered, counterproductive, and keeps our eyes on our circumstances. Prayer is God-centered and keeps our eyes on God, not our circumstances.
a. When you honestly examine your heart, do you find that you worry more or pray more? I worry more
b. Take one or more of the items listed in question 2 and commit to live out Philippians 4:6–7 by giving them over to God. I will do my best to do this
c. Write out a simple prayer, giving these worries and anxieties to God. Below is an example:
Father, I thank You that You are in control of all things and that You want to take my burdens and worries from me. I ask You to take away my worries about (finances, jealousy, raising children, self-esteem, etc.). Father, I commit these things to You, thanking You in advance that You will work out every detail, trusting that none of these things comes to me before they have passed through Your loving hands. Thank You for the peace You have promised me … the peace that will quiet my thoughts and my heart and give me rest. * God, I hate how hard it is for me to trust You. I don’t want to be like that. I want to thank you in advance for doing things but I can’t, because so much seems so left undone…like I don’t deserve it, so You won’t bother. I don’t deserve to have You work anything for my good. I fail at everything and I’m sure I don’t hear You when You speak to me. I don’t want to feel this way because I know better, but I can’t seem to change it. Help me to trust You. I wish I could just one little thing, something real and tangible that shows me that You are on my side, because I feel all alone here. I know my life isn’t nearly as horrible as millions of other people have it. I have food in my stomach and a roof over my head and I feel guilty for being dissatisfied with my life. I don’t know what to do.