Day 2 of Anxiety // God Uses Our Circumstances

Wiregrass Hope Group's Christian counselors have written these posts on anxiety based on their own experiences and the book Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow. Our hope is for you to live free from anxiety.

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I see circumstances as tools God uses to to draw us closer to Him. The other day someone asked me, “When did you begin trusting in Him?”

My answer was simple! My salvation experience came as expectantly as my first steps. I was privileged to be brought up in a home where my parents knew Jesus and taught me about Jesus. But that did not make Him real in my life. I had assurance that I was His, but I did not really know Him. So, God went about allowing circumstances in my life to bend this stubborn spirit and make me His totally. There is a saying, “I may not be where I am going to be, but thank God I am not where I was.” I keep pressing toward the heavenly mark (Philippians 3:12-14 AMP) leaning on God every breath.

Have you ever felt as if your heart were being ripped out of your chest with no anesthesia? Have you ever been at the point where you knew without a shadow of a doubt you had more on your plate than you could handle? Well, these are the life circumstances which brought me to my knees. I was a single mom of four stressed by my daily circumstances, and I needed contentment and peace. Philippians 4:6-7 reads, “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.”

I heard recently there were a group of missionaries detained at the Mexican border. The circumstances are not as important to me as the outcome. During this detention, the missionaries went about Jesus’ business and shared the Gospel, while Jesus went about theirs, getting them released. The result was one of the men holding them was saved. The missionaries were released.

Many times through this adventure with Jesus, He has encouraged me to be about His business. His promise is always that He will be about mine. I have been distracted daily by circumstances, but circumstances can be the tool God uses to draw me to Himself. Due to these distractions, I have at times missed opportunities to share Him or praise Him. However, I am convinced that God’s providential plan never fails. So His work goes on, I just didn’t get the blessing that day.

Difficult circumstances will come, and we want to be ready. Here is my battle plan:

  • Armor up daily!  We must stay ready for the attack.  
  • Pray without ceasing (continually during the day).
  • Feed on the bread of life, the Bible.
  • “Center our minds on and implant in our hearts” whatever is true, honorable, worthy of respect, right and confirmed by God’s Word, pure and wholesome, admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8 AMP)  
  • Fellowship with those who encourage us in Jesus. “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:9).
  • Stay focused on Jesus. He will fight for us (Exodus 14:14), and He will use our circumstances for His glory and to draw us closer to Him.

Prayer: Dear Father, please help me see my circumstances as opportunities to lean into you and trust you more.   

Further Study: Read Chapter 2 of Calm My Anxious Heart.

Small Group Questions: Questions 2, 3, 5, and 8 of Week 2 in the back of Calm My Anxious Heart.

Comment: How has God used your circumstances to draw you closer to Him?

Please share your answer either in the comments section below or join the conversation with our Facebook Community Group. #undividedwomen.

// Ruthi


Ruthi Penuel is a native of Dothan, Alabama and a graduate from Dothan High School. She received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Masters of Science in Counseling/Psychology from Troy University of Dothan. Ruthi has practiced counseling for 12 years with various organizations in Dothan. She is married to Rex Penuel who now in his second career, works as a Registered Nurse at the Behavioral Unit at Southeast Medical Center. Ruthi and Rex have a blended family of 7 children and 12 grandchildren.