The 20 Verses You Love Most: #8 Fret Not

The 20 Verses You Love Most | Liz Curtis Higgs

“Fear not?” Right. Got that. Now it’s time for something harder: “Fret not.”

Truth is, I’m a world-class worrier. I worry about not finishing something on time. (Oh, you know. Like a blog post.) Then I worry no one will like it. If they do like it, I worry they won’t like the next one.

Been there? There now? This verse is definitely for you.

Bible Open to Philippians 4:6

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

Yes, we know this one. Heard it a million times. (Okay, at least a hundred.)
“Don’t worry. Be prayer-y.”

What I’m after are the words tucked inside this verse that unlock the secret of how to stop fretting.

Paula, one of many who chose this verse, confessed, “When our son was making some seriously unwise choices in life, I breathed in and out with this verse, so I wouldn’t come undone in the waiting.”

Following her good example, let’s take a deep breath and dive in.

"Be anxious for nothing..."

“Do not be anxious…” Philippians 4:6

It reads like a command. “Do not fret” (AMP). “Never worry” (GW). Already I’m in trouble, because (big surprise) I don’t like someone telling me what to do. The best bosses I ever had were the ones who told me what they wanted, yet made me think it was my idea.

If that’s you, relax. God seldom asks us to do anything without showing us how and telling us why, not to mention giving us the strength we’ll need to follow through.

“…about anything,…” Philippians 4:6

Clearly, God doesn’t want one thing left on our Stuff To Worry About list. “Nothing must make you anxious” (KNOX), he says. And that Greek word, médeis, literally means “not even one.”

What’s the biggest concern you have in your life right now? That huge thing that’s pressing on your heart 24/7? God says not to worry about that.

Right. Not even that. Wow.

“…but…” Philippians 4:6

Sounds kinda negative, yet it’s simply telling us what the alternative is to worrying, fretting, and being anxious. “Instead” (NET), “rather” (CEB), “on the contrary” (CJB), here’s what happens when we go with God’s plan, even in the midst of life’s challenges.

BLOG Situation # 1

Fret Not  Philippians 4:6

Fret Not  Philippians 4:6

“…in every situation,…” Philippians 4:6

Every is one of those words you can’t get around. Not some, not most. “Every circumstance” (AMP), the Lord assures us. “Every need” (KNOX). However long our list of worries, God is already there. He’s “in all things” (GNV).

A prodigal child? An alcoholic spouse? An empty bank account? A frightening report from the doctor? Yes, all those situations. Hard, hard, hard, but not too hard for God.

Nothing is too simple for God either. Every and all tells us he can handle the little stuff too. Suzanne, who also chose this verse as her favorite, knows that whatever we’re worried about, “God wants to hear about it, no matter how small or trivial it may be.”

“…by prayer and petition,…” Philippians 4:6

In the Greek, proseuché means interactive prayer. Not just talking, but also listening. If you can find one minute to pray, take another minute to wait for the Lord’s response. Just. One. Minute.

The second word, petition, sounds like a legal term: “Here, sign this petition.” What it really means is seeking, asking, entreating, “beseeching” (KNOX). To put it simply, “ask and pray” (NIRV). Rather than fretting and fussing, “shape your worries into prayers” (MSG).

Now, here’s the hidden key that sets us free.

Thank You, Written in the Sand

“…with thanksgiving,…” Philippians 4:6

Even while we’re asking and praying, we’re already thanking God for listening and answering. We’re also thanking him for “all he has done” (NLT) in the past, all he is doing right now, and all he is going to do in the future.

Faith, beloved. Faith enables us to pray “with a thankful heart” (GNT).

If you’re looking for something meaningful to post on Facebook or Twitter, this sums up our lesson from the Lord perfectly: “Do not worry about anything. Talk to God about everything. Thank him for what you have. Ask him for what you need.” (Philippians 4:6 WE)

Presents in Hand

“…present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

It’s also translated “ask” (NCV) and “tell” (NIRV), but the verb “present” helps us imagine handing over our needs to the Lord like gifts. Neatly boxed and wrapped in ribbons, if you like.

You and I know how it works with gifts. You can’t take them back.

No matter how ugly those worries look to you, God will gladly take them out of your hands. “He longs to hear your requests” (VOICE), so don’t hesitate to tell him everything. “Make your wants known to God” (AMP). Yes, “every detail of your needs” (PHILLIPS).

Your concerns are not a burden to him. They are not a nuisance. They are beautiful gifts of faith and trust and gratitude.

These are for you, Lord. Thank you taking them.

He is both a giver of gifts and a receiver of requests. That’s how and why we can fret not. A huge relief, yes?

Some translations end this verse with a semi-colon or a comma, meaning there’s more good news to come. I’m including those comforting words here, so we get the happy ending: peace.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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

Now it’s your turn

Back to that huge thing that’s pressing on your heart 24/7. What will it take for you to gift-wrap that situation and give it to God, knowing it’s in very good hands? And how might your sisters pray for you through the process?

To share your thoughts, just click on “The 20 Verses You Love Most” at the top of your email, which will take you to my website blog. Then include your response under Post a Comment at the bottom. Bless you for taking a moment to add your voice to the conversation.

Next time we’ll step back into the Old Testament and unpack #7 of the verses you love. This beauty would make my own Top 10 list. Oh baby. Get ready.

Your sister, Liz

Your Sister in Christ, Liz Curtis Higgs

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90 Responses to The 20 Verses You Love Most: #8 Fret Not

  1. Martha Troxel July 8, 2013 at 11:48 am #

    This is timely! I found myself worrying instead of sleeping one night last week. Will put this verse in a handy spot!

    • Jan July 9, 2013 at 10:50 am #

      Today’s scripture and Liz’s wonderful interpretation gave me an exciting new way to look at the concerns I turnover to God. I never thought of the fact that He views them as gifts because of my trust, faith and dependence on Him.
      At our Encouraging Retreat in October for young adult single women, I think I will give them wrapping paper and ribbon and ask them to put their biggest concern in the box, wrap it up. We can then pray over it offering it up to God. They are now free from the worry, because it is out of their hands and into God’s.

      • Liz Curtis Higgs July 14, 2013 at 8:23 am #

        LOVE this plan, Jan. A step toward trusting and away from fretting.

  2. Arlian Rawlins July 8, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    I love this series and your comments, So helpful. I have one huge concern for a family member looking for employment and this will help me trust that eventually all will be well. So hard for me to believe this after one year of praying with no results.

  3. Stacey Honaker July 8, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    God is so good at putting things at my feet and in my path just when I need them most! Thank you Jesus! Thank you Liz!

  4. Jacque July 8, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

    I just happened to stumble upon your post #8 from Philippians 4:6-7 when I needed it most. My heart was so heavy and my mind was so troubled. I knew God was there for me…I knew I needed to give my troubles to Him completely, but it is just hard sometimes–especially when it involves a child. Mothers just worry. Thank you for reassuring me that God holds us in the palm of His hand–always.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 14, 2013 at 8:27 am #

      Mothers definitely get an A+ for worrying, no matter how grown their children might be. Right there with you, Jacque. God is good to keep reminding us throughout his Word that he is holding on tightly and will not let go.

  5. Dawn July 8, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    How many times have I read that verse but still worry and fret! I too need to repeat it over and over every time I catch myself start to worry. Thank you for turning me back to God this morning.

  6. Peggy S July 8, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    Thank you for another timely post. I’ve been wondering (worrying?) about going to youth camp with our ministry this year. I do not like camp! But I am giving this over to God so I don’t have to worry about it. He will work it out to His glory. Always to His glory!

  7. Stephanie July 8, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    I so needed this today. Work has been one stressful situation after another for the past 9 months. I have found myself worrying, which I used to not do too much. It’s affected my blood pressure and my energy level (or lack thereof). I’m so afraid I’m going to lose my job and that would leave me and my husband without any income or medical insurance. I would like some relief from the worry and also reassurance of job stability.

    • Bridget July 8, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

      I worry about the same things as you do. I work freelance, and I lost both of my 2 main clients in the span of a week. But instead of panicking about it like I would have in the past, I tried to give thanks and trust that God has another {better!} plan in mind for me. (Which is not to say that I didn’t allow myself a good cry – I still have work to do on trusting God no matter what!) And you know what – just a few days later a friend of mine said she was glad I am available, because she had been wanting to hire me to work at her company. I hope that you find relief from your worry too.

      • Stephanie July 8, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

        Thank you. I’m trying to remain positive and meditate on Scripture.

  8. Marge July 8, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

    First of all, any one who would not be blessed and uplifted by your blogs and anxious to read the next one are fault finders, and the one they are finding fault with is God as He is the one who has given you the wonderful gift of comunication thru speaking and writing.

    After many years I have finally learned to give all my problems to Jesus. I know Him and I know His word is true.

  9. SueB July 8, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    I’m not sure why but I got very emotional reading this. It is one of my favorite verses. I have a wayward son who is the biggest concern in my life right now and I do hand him over to the Lord every day. I’m holding the Lord to his promise that He will make good on that precious Word that was placed in my son’s heart as he grew up. Again, I must tell you have MUCH I love and appreciate your posts each week on our favorite verses. We are blessed through you.

    • Lynne July 9, 2013 at 8:28 am #

      Oh, Sue, I have been there also. In fact I am there today. Some days are easier than others. I do understand your breaking heart. Let’s both hang on to this verse today.

    • SusanB July 9, 2013 at 11:18 am #

      To SueB from SusanB….I’m right there with you. My son is my biggest concern right now. I struggle between giving him to God, taking him back, enabling him and just down right being DONE! The “crisis” of the month came last night. So, this blog was a huge blessing and reminder to me this morning.

      • Carol July 10, 2013 at 7:25 am #

        Susan B……..Your words are exactly mine this morning. What a blessing to read that we are not alone in these ugly, hard, desparate situations. This verse helps me to remember that God has our backs and He wants, desires and pleads with us to know His PEACE which surpasses all understanding. I’m praying it and claiming it!

    • Cathy Gross July 9, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

      Oh Sue, been there and done that. I was single the first nine years of my son’s life. When he went astray at 19 or 20, I felt that I had hurt him by not giving him up for adoption to a good home instead of selfishly holding onto him. A friend asked me why I believed a lie from the pit of hell. Our enemy causes us to doubt ourselves. God made good on His promises and told me clearly that He loved my son much more than I ever could, leave him in His hands. I held onto that every day for a few years. Today he is a man of integrity and strength and serves God faithfully. Hold onto His promise and remember he is His son before he is yours. God grant you peace as you walk this out

      • Liz Curtis Higgs July 14, 2013 at 8:34 am #

        SueB, Lynne, SusanB, Carol, and Cathy:
        Your tender words of encouragement and understanding are breathtaking to read. Thank you for ministering to one another. I was that prodigal daughter and can say absolutely, God never gives up or lets go. Praying for each of you by name this morning.

        • Cyndi July 27, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

          Wow this is such a timely Word for me. I too am praying desperately for a wayward son. I get very discouraged and I am so grateful to find encouragement. I try to leave my son at the feet of Jesus but i often go right back and pick him up. Im gonna wrap him in a beautiful gift to give to Jesus and know that he is in the best of care. I heard Lizz on Focus on the Family this week and was led to this blog.
          Thank you Lizz for your transparency!

  10. Teresa Warren July 8, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

    I so needed to be reminded my place I am in I needed to hear those words. Thank you.

  11. Paula July 8, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

    Perfect timing for me. I was blogging about worry this morning being a part of this grandmother’s heart. Concerned for my granddaughter. She has her first boyfriend at 17 and is vulnerable because her dad left he family last fall. I have been trying of find a way out of worry and into peace. Think you, Liz for sharing. I am glad I discovered this blog a few weeks ago.

  12. AJ July 8, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

    Thank you, Liz! I needed to hear this TODAY! I’ve heard it a thousand times, but today it’s a wonderful reminder that I don’t have to do anything but surrender my burdens, even the ugly ones!

  13. Bridget July 8, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

    This is one of the verses I need the most day in and day out. In fact, I keep it pinned to my bulletin board as a daily reminder – and it is HARD for me to give up the fretting. Thank you for helping us see just how we can do that. I found your blog through A Holy Experience, and Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare has helped me to learn to give thanks for the hard things, which as you say, helps to relieve anxiety. Thank you, Sister Liz!

  14. Ruth July 8, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

    I woke this morning at 2am and got out of bed at 3.30am. I’ve been sitting here going through my usual internet sites and low and behold in my email is your blog 🙂
    So I sat here reading and didn’t even get beyond the first part and the tears started. So much has happened in the past 15 months in so many areas. Our family is struggling with relationships to the point where some won’t even speak to each other, work is eluding me so money is tight, my special friend is being treated for a very aggressive cancer, another friend has a daughter who has been hurting herself and been in hospital at least three times on suicide watch. I could go on but you get what I’m saying 🙂
    Through it all I have prayed and committed and trusted. I have cried so many tears heaven’s bottles of them will be overflowing by now. Each day I pray again and wait. Listening. Nothing.
    It’s verses like this that I cling to. Verses that assure me that God is here for me.
    Reading these and praying are the only active things I can do for myself. Other than that I wait and trust. It helps. The reading. The praying. Even the tears.
    It’s strange but relief does come and although I say ‘I can’t take it any more!’ I know his strength in me. Each time tears flow I eventually calm and rest again in him.
    Thanks for the reminder girls. He is ever present and although I see no visible results I know that he loves me and is working for me. I know my redeemer lives 🙂

    • Lynne July 9, 2013 at 8:31 am #

      Oh, Ruth, this could have been written by me. Thank you for sharing. The world keeps spinning and sometimes I feel like all is darkness. Then I read this gentle reminder from the Word.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 14, 2013 at 8:41 am #

      Precious words, Ruth. Bless you for trusting us with these details of your journey. The three ways you are handling things–reading, praying, weeping–are biblical and practical, as well as beautiful. Thanks so much for showing us the way.

  15. Jan July 8, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

    Thank you so much for posting the top 20 verses. Each one has touched my heart. However, this one is especially touching my heart. My husband has beginning stages of C.O.P.D., our son is about to enter his next year in college (if he passes he will receive his Associates degree in Psychology) So finances are weighing heavy on my mind. I need to Let go & Let God. Thank you Lord for placing Liz in my life. 🙂

  16. Cheryl July 8, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    Love this! I always need this reminder. I have been worrying about the future, money, kids growing up, my husband’s MS – how will it be in 10 years? I needed the reminder that God knows it all, and has it all in His hands!

  17. Linda July 8, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

    The Lord is really ministering to me through this series. It is incredibly difficult to turn my fretting mind off! My prayer requests are my son that needs a job when he graduates college and myself to not feel my self worth is tied to my job or lack thereof. I am looking for a teaching job in the community where we just moved.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 14, 2013 at 8:42 am #

      Honored to pray for your needs with you this morning, Linda.

  18. Linda H July 8, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

    I love the visual of the gifts. I never thought about it that way. My biggest worry right now is my new caregiving role for my Mom. It has shaken me and stressed me so much that I am experencing some health issues because of it. I do a lot of fretting. This verse is such a reminder that I need to give those “presents” to Him daily without trying to take them back. Thanks again for allowing God to speak through you Liz. What a blessing!

  19. Rebecca July 8, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

    The more you realize how powerless you are, the better you can hear the truth of this guideline God has given us as His children…may our omnipotent, sovereign Heavenly Father continue to reveal Himself to you all is my prayer.

  20. Cathy Gross July 8, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

    My first instinct is to say, I don’t worry and by and large I think I don’t. Not usually. But then I realized I am tired, maybe tired of carrying loads not meant for my shoulders. So tonight after my crew goes to bed, when I can be alone with my Papa I’m going to write him a letter. I think I’ll tell Him what I need, what I need Him to fix, what I need Him to carry for me, what concerns I need Him to help me with…all on paper for us to talk about. And thank Him for keeping His word to take care of it all for me. Your reminder is timely on a troubling day. Thanks Liz. Glad you are a sister.

    • Martha July 27, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

      This post really speaks to me today. I have just started journaling and your comment about writing a letter to you Papa just mirrors the word petition in the verse. I too will write down my petitions to Him. Not only to make it officialish but to make my need clear to myself, especially my need for Jesus. Thanks! And keep up the good work Lizz!

  21. Kim July 8, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

    This is what I learned about God today. My concerns are not a burden to Him. They are not a nuisance. They are beautiful gifts of faith and trust and gratitude.
    I never thought about it like this before. Giving my burdens to God, my Father, is how I can show Him that I Trust Him, have Faith in Him, Love Him, and am truly grateful that He is my Father. Again, it’s not about me. It’s about Him. I am not asking for me, well I am, but I am also asking to be trusting and loving toward my Father in heaven. I can bring Him joy and me great peace at the same time. It’s a win/win.

  22. Janet Thornhill July 9, 2013 at 7:26 am #

    I really needed this verse about “Fret Not.” Oh, how I fret, worry, stew over, repeatedly think about, concerned about, anxious about, etc. etc. My health, my daughter (where is she, is she okay, what is she doing?), my job (will I ever like it again?) to the little stuff (what to have for lunch? supper? what clothes/shoes to wear?) Thanks for tuning me into GOD and what He wants me to do (or not do) to achieve His perfect peace.

  23. Jenn Taylor July 9, 2013 at 7:52 am #

    Thank you Liz for your inspiration and encouragement. From reading the above post it is clear that we all have our share of burdens. I remind myself where the Bible says as children of God we were never promised we wouldn’t have trials and troubles. The difference is that we put our faith and trust in Him. I learned that when my husband left when my children were teens and the difficulties that still linger years later for them. When my parents suffered illness until they passed away. The harder things got the more I turned to God. If not for the troubles I don’t know that I would be walking with the Lord today as I was not brought up a Christian. I pray for all of you that God will lift your burdens. May we strengthen each other as sisters in Christ.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 14, 2013 at 8:50 am #

      Jenn, you’ve shared a really important truth: the troubles you’ve faced have brought you closer to God, which surely is what he intends for all of us. Matthew Henry wrote, “So many calamities have been lost upon you if you have not yet learned how to suffer.” By turning to God again and again, you’ve gained instead of lost, you’ve “learned how to suffer” and come through it with a deeper faith. Thanks for encouraging us all, Jenn.

  24. Kathy July 9, 2013 at 7:59 am #

    Hey Chicks! I’m amazed at the wonder of our Lord! He is so good to me. Just this week, I was praying and worrying about something and a friend called me. She said -“I was praying for you and The Lord ask me to tell you- He hears your prayers and don’t worry , be happy! Don’t fret. Now is that just the best or what? God is so good!

    • Cathy Gross July 9, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

      Yes, He is so very good, Kathy!
      Don’t you love it when He stirs the waters just
      to remind you He is still there!

  25. Tami July 9, 2013 at 8:12 am #

    Thank you for this message Liz! Thank you Lord for speaking to me through Liz!
    I find myself continuing to worry after giving it to the Lord. I know that what He has for me is what is best, but the fear of the unknown is what gets me. How do I stop my mind from going there after giving it to the Lord?

    • Linda H July 9, 2013 at 8:43 am #

      Tami I am struggling with that same thing. I am so thankful that God is patient with us. Today I re-read the comments and realize we are not alone as we all struggle real fears. The Lord knows our name and what we look like. I prayed that He would be especially close to each one of you today and that we remmber He is waiting to receive our burden. You ladies are a blessing!

  26. Lynne July 9, 2013 at 8:22 am #

    Oh, Liz and sisters, I so needed to be reminded. I have been down the road I am on right now, but as I often remind the Lord, I was younger. I have 8 children and they have taken me on roads I did not want to travel including pregnancy out of sequence,domestic violence, substance abuse, mental illness. I am weary. My youngest daughter is pregnant and she is 31. She made a choice to leave all she knew including her job of 10 years and her family and cashed in her savings and moved 70 miles away to live with a violent man. After two months she came home pregnant. She has an apartment, her old job and the love and support of her family, but… I keep worrying she will not have the finances she needs to care for this child. I continue to worry she will make more bad choices. I keep trudging up the hill to the Cross to leave my suitcase of worries, but then I pick it up and slide back down into despair. I am having trouble saying “thank you”. Oh, Liz and sisters, my journey has shown me that God is faithful and He is enough, but… I am encouraged and I will hike up that hill to the Cross again. Thank you for the gentle reminder this morning.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 14, 2013 at 8:56 am #

      Lynne, I’m grieved to hear of all you’ve been through. Praying as you begin gift wrapping each individual concern and presenting them to God. He came down from that Cross (thank you, Lord!) and is by your side, ready to take those burdens from you.

  27. Mary July 9, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    This verse was the perfect timing. I found out yesterday that one of my best friends has lung cancer and will be having surgery Friday morning to remove part of her lung. All day yesterday, I kept a sick feeling in my stomach and last night, couldn’t go to sleep til past midnight. I’m not worried, but I’m worried! I know God is hearing our prayers and will take care of my Sister.

    Thanks Liz!

  28. Evelyn July 9, 2013 at 8:29 am #

    I know that I should “Let go, let God ” but when it comes to an alcoholic parent, and it’s the only parent I have left it’s extremely difficult. How do I stop worrying, fretting or even “hand it over ” when I know things could /should be different? I find it difficult to stop fretting unless I walk away completely.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 14, 2013 at 9:02 am #

      Evelyn, you have described the dilemma perfectly: staying in the situation without wanting to control it, change it, fix it. Just as AA helps alcoholics, AlAnon helps those who live with an alcoholic. If you’ve not explored that avenue yet, it might be worthwhile to see if there is an AlAnon group in your area. I have seen many women find support and compassion there. Praying for you as I post, Evelyn.

  29. Dolly July 9, 2013 at 8:40 am #

    Oh, Liz, what a perfect verse for this week! God is so good! Finances took a big dive this week without warning, BUT GOD had done something to provide in another way even before disaster hit! Yes, it’s still a big scary change, but even in the midst, He sent compassionate, gracious hearts to encourage. Thank you for the reminder to keep trusting & praising – absolutely perfect timing. I appreciate you!

  30. MaryAnn July 9, 2013 at 8:48 am #

    Just want to say what a blessing your comments on all the verses are to me.

  31. Rhonda July 9, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    I truly needed to read this today. I was awake just about all of last night–I had some occult blood tests done because I have mild anemia, and I found out yesterday that all came back positive. I have to wait until next Thursday for my colonoscopy, and I am frantic about colon cancer–I have had some back pain, etc. over that last several months that I really haven’t paid attention to. I am 44 with no history of colon cancer in my family, but that doesn’t stop me from worrying–about my husband and eleven-year-old twins sons, about myself, about my job, etc. This has always been a favorite verse of mine, and if there has been a time I’ve ever needed to apply it to my own life, that time is now. Please keep me in your prayers.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 14, 2013 at 9:04 am #

      Praying right now, Rhonda. Bless you for letting us walk through this with you.

  32. Amanda July 9, 2013 at 8:52 am #

    God’s timing is always perfect! Thank you for this reminder as it is much, much needed the, especially the past few weeks as my heart just seems at such unease. It is easy to get caught up in the “world” and forget that God’s promise is so mighty…..all we have to do is trust. The devil wants us to believe that he is stronger and more powerful. He works in ways that deceive us. He has no place in my life right now and I claim God’s awesome power and calming spirit to move through me and each of these ladies here. Thank you Liz, for spreading God’s holy truth and for taking the time to break it down to where us “worriers” can see the simplicity in His message. God is good. Give it to the Lord!!

  33. Julie Sunne July 9, 2013 at 8:55 am #

    This is a difficult verse to live out, but oh so powerful when we follow it to a “T” and include the thanksgiving part. It opens up our hearts to trust and receive His peace. Another great job of unpacking, Liz.

  34. Jennifer H. July 9, 2013 at 9:43 am #

    Thank you, thank you, Liz! I need this today. I’ve been stressed out about this week, because I just started working on my doctoral degree, and I stay at home with my two little girls (3 and 10 months). This week is extra busy because my older daughter is in ballet camp every afternoon, which falls at naptime, which means I can’t use all of that time to do my school work! So, I’ve been a little bit (or maybe more than a little bit) stressed about how I will finish my work this week, and if I can even do school while my babies are babies! Then, that leads to worrying about how I will ever have time to do future classes, even if I make it through this one. One worry leads to another, I suppose! I know I need to relax and trust the Lord to help me through it. Thank you so much for your encouragement! 🙂

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 14, 2013 at 9:12 am #

      Oh, Jennifer, I delight in seeing you work through this very real issue right in your comment itself, moving from fretting to trusting (at least in theory, right?) in a few sentences. You are so right: one worry leads to another. And it’s not an upward spiral; it’s a downward one.

      I began writing books when my children were 3 and 5, so I totally get the need to make the most of nap time! I changed the old adage of “one day at a time” to “one hour at a time.” (And if serious pain or stress is involved, one minute at a time!) God truly does meet us in those minutes and lightens our load each moment we loosen our grip on it. Praying for you right now.

  35. Karen July 9, 2013 at 9:51 am #

    This was the message I needed to hear today. When I present (love it!) my requests to Him, I need to thank Him for what He’s done, what He’s doing, and what He’s going to do! My husband and I have been in a holding pattern (to our human eyes) for over 6 months, trying to sell our house and move back to Texas to be nearer our family. We have bathed this move in prayer but now I believe our prayers need to include more thankfulness and trust that He IS doing something. Someday soon we’ll look back and say “Oh, I get it!” Thank you, Lord for how you are working in our lives! …. and thank you, Liz, for encouraging me this morning.

  36. Heidi July 9, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    Just this. Today. Right now. Thank you. We’re moving this weekend… sold our home and going to our dream place in the country, and renting. It’s what we’ve prayed for and I’ve waited for for 7 years, yet somehow, my stomach is a wreck and I’m losing sleep. Have to say goodbye to my gardens and little fish pond that I built by hand, not to mention the old house that we’ve loved and renovated and had kids and dogs and cats roaming through and playing in the yard. The kids are gone now and it’s just us and 3 old greyhound ladies, so smaller is better. Please pray for me and my dearest, that we can get through in just a few short days, and have patience with the owners, that they keep their promises and FINISH the work BEFORE we move in (!) And for me to control my anxiety which sometimes comes out of my mouth. It will be so wonderful when we get there! It seems like forever, but only less that a week…
    Thanks Liz for this post.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 14, 2013 at 9:17 am #

      It’s Sunday morning now. Are you in your new home, Heidi? Surrounded by boxes? Such a brave leap of faith, and a truly wise one. Smaller is better. I’m confident God will show you each day why this is the best place for you to be. The joy you found in planting those gardens and building that fish pond are yours to keep forever. Praying as you unpack and settle in.

  37. Susan July 9, 2013 at 11:09 am #

    Our Lord has always been faithful. Why, oh why, do I continue to doubt, to fear, to fret?
    But I do. A situation with our son is driving a wedge between me and my husband. I am having anxiety attacks. I am exhausted and long to rest in His faithfulness.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 14, 2013 at 9:23 am #

      Susan, I’d encourage you to place those doubts and fears in God’s hands, but also to put your medical issues–anxiety attacks and exhaustion–in a doctor’s hands. Stress can deplete our bodies of the chemical resources needed to keep us healthy. If you’ve already gone that route, I’ll be praying your doctor finds a better option to help you weather this situation and, as you’ve beautifully said, rest in God’s faithfulness.

  38. Stacey Hammons July 9, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    Liz –
    thank you so much! This is perfectly what I needed to hear. God is so good. Fret not. YES!!

  39. Corrine July 9, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    Thank you Liz.
    This is perfect timing….so many worries, right now. empty bank account, health, but most of all , a son that has been making very wrong choices and we had to kick him out of the house. My heart has never felt so broken. I will cling to this verse and gift wrap my worries and gladly give them over to the Lord. ♥

  40. colleen July 9, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

    What do you do when you have already come undone because you didn’t breathe in this verse…..didn’t eve WANT to….the situation was bad and scary and I am worse off because I didn’t ….I know that now….but I’m lost and in pain and can’t find my way back…..Jesus loves though… I DO know that much.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 14, 2013 at 9:30 am #

      You are so right, Colleen: Jesus loves you completely. Guilt and regret are how the enemy confuses and confounds us. Can you gift wrap those painful emotions and give them to God? He not only wants you back; to his way of thinking, you never left. Scripture assures us, “the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials” (2 Peter 2:9). He is with you, dear sister. Turn into his embrace.

  41. Carol A July 9, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    I too a a worrier. I take pride I think in it. How often with circumstances particularly with my adult children I find myself thinking I should fix it. I pray that I can give it over to God and not keep taking it back. Thank you for these good words.

  42. Birdie July 9, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    Once again a very timely message from you, Liz! Thank you. You see tomorrow in Bible School this is our memory verse! So now I know how I will talk about the worries – as gifts you can give to God. Never thought about it that way before.

  43. Dawn July 9, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

    How God has been pushing this verse at me in so many ways. Here is Liz speaking straight to my heart. God hears my request. I can rest in that promise and quit driving myself to hives.

  44. Tammy holmes July 9, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

    Started off on reading a holy experience by Ann voskamp.. And found my way to you… Number 8.. Haha.. With thanksgiving present your request to God… How in the world? That was my response several years ago, now it’s a life line.. God drilled it into my head, peace.. I love peace… Oh my.. But today in a long while I felt uneasiness creeping up, my middle daughter is having her 4th child, my oldest is struggling in her marriage with a husband who has an addiction problem, I’m 54 and my husband for the past 4 years is in one state and I in the other for the course of the week.. And my youngest is leaving the 30th of this month for Sweden to tryout for a soocer team in Sweden.. I am good basically… peace it’s there but I feel like someone is nudging on my door, and I don’t like it.. Like company that you do not want to let in.. An old friend from your past.. So clicking here to your blog from Anne’s was no mistake it was a God thing … He has it .. He has it all.. And I am so very very thankful that he does.. Thank you for your words I will be reading and rereading these coming days..

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 14, 2013 at 9:39 am #

      Tammy, I’m honored you found your way here from dear Ann’s online home, Her posts encourage so many, and her friendship is a sweet gift from the Lord.

      Parenting adult children is a whole different ballgame, isn’t it? Wanting to help, needing to let go, most of all longing to trust God. While wrapping each worry up in boxes with bows may not be practical, you might take a moment to write down every concern that presses on your heart, then pray through each one and draw a line through it. Simple, but sometimes these things can help remind us of that truth we’ve been revisiting almost every week this spring and summer: God has this.

  45. cherrie July 13, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    Dear liz
    reading this reminded me that the LORD is near. He sends people who have helped me and many previous posts i have read are encouraging. My words of hope would be: remember what the LORD has done for you (dwell on that memory) and step out in faith.

  46. mary July 13, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

    Oh Liz, I so love your comments, I realized today why I love you and your posts. You are so real and when these tough verses come up you let us know you have felt what all of us feel, you struggle and are open about it. Thank You. This verse is so hard but when I finally let go totally of struggles with my son and gave him over totally to The Lord, miracles began to happen. From a runaway hopeless teen he is today an awesome son, father and husband. God is so Good but we need to let go and quit trying to help Him.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 14, 2013 at 9:41 am #

      Many of your sisters this week needed your testimony of hope, Mary. Hooray for God, and bless you for your wisdom.

  47. Phyllis July 15, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    Hello Liz & others on this blog. This is my first time here and I to followed over from Ann Voskamp’s site. I really needed this reminder and HIs Word this afternoon. I to am in the middle of health tests and I’ve been trying to ignore how scared I am. Marriage stress being married for 35 years, both retired with health issues and financial concerns, only son living with his girlfriend and not interested in getting married. Other family issues, (niece 24 diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer) dear cousins without jobs and just existing on welfare, dear friends without jobs, and a big one our Church being without a pastor for over 3 years. Attend Prayer Meetings and am almost tired of praying when no answer comes. BUT GOD, even thru the internet has met with me this afternoon and encouraged this weary tired heart. Thank You, sincerely Phyllis.

  48. Diane July 15, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

    Thank you SO much for allowing God to use you in a mighty way. I saw you at WOF in Des Moines, IA in 2012 and it blessed me so much. I’m in prayer for my 3 daughters to be saved and for me to have a better relationship with my mil. I keep praying for God to use me to encourage and reach out to others but I’m still so unsure of myself hearing His voice sometimes that it holds me back at times. I’m seeking His will everyday and my Love for Him consumes every part of me passionately to the point that my FB is used solely for God’s glory because I’m hoping to someday help lead others to our wonderful King of Kings. God bless you!!!!

  49. Susan Gruener July 16, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

    What an awesome encouragement – and a great verse! I just received your “Encouragement to God” in my inbox, all about “Bad Girls of the Bible”…and guess what…I am reading the older version right now! I so love God’s sense of humor! 🙂 And I am so enjoying your book! I was outside walking and praying yesterday and out of my mouth came “I beseech you”. I thought to myself, where in the world did that ‘word’ come from – this is 2013. 🙂 And then here while reading your post…I read “beseeching”. 🙂 I loved reading that! 🙂 I am always in awe when God lets us know we are doing the right thing, praying the right thing, and letting us know He is listening to us! Our God is so awesome! Thank you so much for sharing your gift of writing (with humor), that God has given you. I have many of your books, and love them all.
    Blessings to you today!

  50. Susan Gruener July 16, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    Oooops didn’t proofread my comment good enough…that should have read “Encouragment to Go” in my comment just above. 🙂 But I do hope we are an ‘encouragment to God’. 🙂

  51. shani July 16, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

    I have read and quoted this verse to myself and others hundreds of times & then hit myself over the head with it every time I can’t stop myself from worrying and fretting. I never really broke it down, the whole thankful with faith part escaped me. I feel like my job of keeping all the balls in the air has just been replaced with deep sigh of relief. He will take care of it as soon as I ask. Thank you Jesus!

  52. Gaynor July 17, 2013 at 7:04 am #

    The Lord knew I needed to read this today…pressures at work, grown children with problems, financial issues, a few health issues…Praise the Lord because He knows all about it and is just waiting for me to let go and let Him do the work…Learning to take it to Jesus and leave it with Him…

  53. Geri T. July 17, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

    Just reading your post re: “fretting.” I found it at just the right time. The reminder that God doesn’t want us to worry was needed so much right now. Our son has not spoken to us in well over a year and we are heartbroken. Not just to us but to his sisters as well. No one knows why. So we just pray for him and hope that things change. Saturday is my birthday and Sunday is his. I know I won’t hear from him. So I am fretting, feeling sorry for myself. Please pray I will have a peaceful heart this weekend. I love you and I thank you for making me smile. You are a blessing.

    • Kathy July 17, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

      Hi Geri, I’m not sure why I was reading this, except that The Lord wanted me to encourage you. Sometimes our children do the darnedest things but being their mom we love them anyway! i have four and i will be praying for you this weekend and Happy Birthday! God knows your heart and I will believe with you for your son to come back to where he belongs. Caring a whole lot, Kathy

  54. Willo July 18, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    Worry has always been second nature for me. I know that it is wasting precious time that I could be spending basking in the Lord’s love. I will read this scripture daily and my prayer is that eventually, whenever I start to worry that I will repeat it and give my worry to Him as a gift and open my heart to His gift of love.

  55. Kay Saxton July 20, 2013 at 7:12 am #

    What an answer to prayer this post has been! I so needed to be reminded of how much God loves me and is with me when I am going through life struggles. I will be sharing this with other friends who are in the “worry pit”. God bless. Kay

  56. Sue July 21, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

    Thank you Liz for this timely word. I was sitting here worried about my daughter driving to New York for the first time and am making myself sick with worry – the enemy is filling my mind with so many ugly scenarios and as much as I’ve tried I can’t stop worry. So I asked God to help me and I came across your blog. I’ve read this verse so many times but tonight it just spoke to my heart – it’s as if I heard God say “here’s your help”. I wil keep repeating this verse until she comes back safely.

  57. Carol A July 25, 2013 at 2:12 am #

    I am struggling with my daughter’s pregnancy. In this past year she has made so many life choices that are taking her further and further away from the life I wanted for her. Now a little one will come into her confused world. I find myself lying awake night after night wondering what I should do and how much I should help. Her heart is hard against God and at times me. I feel so very sad.

  58. Gideon August 6, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

    Dear sis Liz in Christ,

    Thank you for this timely word. really these words comforted me in these days in my life,
    My brother has passed away, An empty bank account, no peace in heart and mind,
    Yes, all those situations are HARD for me but not for our almighty God! he only can give me deliverance in this world.

    In his Grace,

  59. Sherri August 7, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    i listened to your Ruth story! Loved it and it spoke to me. My husband got killed about a year ago in a terrible semi truck accident. He burnt and we could not have closure.This past year has been diffucult alot of feelings !!!!! And I wonder how the feelings of being married for 32 years how could you want another man and how could it not be cheating if you do. But slowy god is showing me and I have to wait on him cuz it is a crazy world out there and i do not want a relationship just cuz i am lonley. Just thank you!!!

  60. Karen August 9, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    No matter how often we hear or see the Word it has an impact on our lives. I loved the thought of giving our requests as a gift (so we cannot take it back). We are changing daily so we are at a different place when the Word washes our lives. Praise the Lord for the freedom to read and share His Word. Praise the Lord for you and other sisters in the Lord.

  61. Jennifer Knox April 28, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

    I just found this today… and the timing is perfect… I don’t know if anyone will see it today, but God knows… I have written out my petition to HIM and just wanted to … to put my request out for prayers… God knows who, when, what, where… The last two years have been very trying… vicious personal attacks, sickness… My Husband and I have stood firm in our faith and God’s grace has been amazing… I truly understand “grace for the moment” more now than ever… While a job is not the most important thing, the element of being considered valuable is…. My prayer is that God will give us peace as we wait to see what will happen next for our lives…. favor for my husband and that the people involved don’t even know why they give him favor… but that they just feel “led” to… It’s God’s plan… clinging to Him and giving thanks for his faithfulness thus far. We are undeserving, but so very grateful… Again, thanks to our “warrior of the faith” Liz Curtis Higgs… God uses you… even 8 months later!


  1. When Faith is Fragile… or broken - July 11, 2013

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