“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.” (Phillipians 4:6-7)
Better never trouble trouble, ‘til trouble troubles you;
For you’re sure to make your trouble double trouble if you do.
Sit down sometime and make a list of things that you have been worrying about; then, underscore those
things which actually happen have happened. You will be amazed at the number of instances in which you have
worried over things that never happened and perhaps never will. There is the story of the old maid, who, living
for thirty years alone, always ceremoniously looked under her bed before she retired for the night to see if a
burglar was lurking in the darkness. Someone suggested that had she found one, she would have died, not from
fright, but from surprise that one finally had arrived. For nearly eleven thousand times in those thirty years, she
bent her poor back and looked under the bed for troubles that never came. Many can truthfully say that the
things which have worried them most are the things that have never happened.
If you develop the right attitude of mind, you are off to a good start in overcoming worry. If useless
worry is the result of a wrong mental attitude, it can be overcome only by substituting a right mental attitude.
Spend a few minutes every day counting the blessings which have too often been taken for granted. Underscore
your blessings rather than highlight your worries.
A woman often met an elderly man on her way to work. He was rather stooped in his shoulders and far
advanced in years, but he had a most radiant face and sparkling eyes. Knowing he must be at peace with the
world, she asked him the secret of his happiness. He replied, “I have made it the habit of my life to spend the
first thirty minutes of each day thanking God for His blessings.” That was his secret, and it would work for us.
A sales manager seeking to stimulate greater production among his staff held up before them a large
white cardboard in the center of which was a tiny black dot. He asked the salesmen what they saw. And they,
without exception, said that they saw a black dot. “That’s just it,” said the sales manager, “Amid the large space
of white cardboard, all you can see is a tiny black dot.” And that is a lesson for us. Amid innumerable blessings
we sometimes overlook, we focus our attention on the possible difficulties and imperfect circumstances around
us. Cultivate the mental habit of looking for the good, and the good will seek you. Meditate upon possible
calamity, and it, too, has a way of catching up with you.
Two little girls, it is said, went out into the rose garden. One came back to her mother and said, “I’ve
been out in the rose garden, and there’s a thorn for every rose.” The other, returning from the same garden, said,
“I’ve been out in the rose garden, and there’s a rose for every thorn.” The difference was in their attitude of
mind. Healthy-mindedness includes majoring in the good things rather than meditating on the evil. And all
worry-free people are healthy-minded.
Now, let me offer this translation of our text from The Message: “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of
worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.
Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you
down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” (Phillipians 4:6-7 MSG)