According to recent reports more and more women are struggling in the workforce. Perhaps you can relate to these recent findings because you also face an uncertain future in your career. As I think about women and work, I believe nothing, outside of health and family, causes more stress in a woman's life than wondering what her career future holds. Why would an uncertain career future affect women at such a deep level? For many, careers provide a sense of stability by helping women stay focused and heading in a definite direction.
As we face stress and anxiety in our places of work, we turn to the Word of God to find practical help for real life problems. One of my favorite verses in the Bible provides this type of help:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request 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
To be very honest, I daily fight the tendency to be anxious. Just over a year ago, I experienced anxiety in my professional life as God called me to move from a stable church staff position to a less than stable speaking ministry. During my time of transition, anxiety nipped at my heels constantly. This anxiety forced me to the Word of God as I sought instructions and promises to claim. Philippians 4:6-7 provided this type of help. Let's take a quick look at the verses and see what we can discover.
The first thing we discover involves trusting God. If you and I are going to stop being anxious about our work scenarios, we must come to the point of recognizing God is in control. Not only is God in control, but also, God is working and moving on our behalf. Exodus 15:13 states, "In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them." What an amazing truth! God is leading and God is guiding. This truth encourages me to trust God more. As you and I trust God, anxiety becomes less and less an issue in life.
The second thing we discover involves presenting God with the details of our lives. How do we present the details of our lives? Philippians 4:6 states "by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving." To present means to make known, declare, or reveal. Through conversation with God, the opportunity exists to make known, declare, or reveal our hearts to God. This truth represents one of the neatest things about a daily walk with God--- we can turn to Him and speak to Him about the good and the bad, the easy and the difficult. Jesus displayed this kind of relationship with His Father while He lived on earth. Often Jesus went to a quiet place to pray. As Jesus prayed, He spent time with His Father and made known, declared, or revealed His heart.
The third thing we discover involves an incredible promise to claim. Philippians 4:6-7 teaches that once you and I trust God and give the details of our lives to God, His peace becomes a guard around our hearts and minds. What a blessing to have the "calm" of God surrounding us during uncertain times. In essence, we have peace and calm when our world seems to be falling apart.
Today if you are experiencing stress or anxiety in your professional life, listen closely to the Word of God - "Do not be anxious about anything." Instead, make your work situation a matter of prayer as you "present your request to God." Once you present your request, rest in God's ability to handle the difficult situation you face. How can you rest? Focus on Christ rather than the challenges occurring in your place of work. This change in focus invites the peace of God to "guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."