What’s The Worry ?
How am I going to get along this year? Am I going to get sick? Is the economy going to fall apart and I lose my job? Will prices sky rocket? Can I pay my bills? How are my kids going to do? Will they make good decisions? Am I doing alright? Do people like me? Do I have enough time? Am I good enough? Can I …? Will I…? Do they…? What will…? How come …?
Have you ever asked these questions? If you are human I know you have. But have you asked these questions where fretting over the answers has literally changed your life consuming an ever larger portion of your thoughts? Are these questions unanswerable because the outcome is not up to you? Have unknowns caused you to fear aspects of life and even cause you to not do things you know you should? This folks is called worry! Living with anxiety and torment from disturbing thoughts, unforeseen scenarios and fears of the “what if’s” is a tough place to live
. Worry creates non-existent problems and real turmoil of the soul. It stunts our ability to act and hinders us from fulfilling our potential – a God-given potential created just for us. Worry brings a halt to reasonable, logical decision making as “what ifs” and fear are factored in as if they are factual reality not just conjecture. Stress caused by worry is a major factor in people’s health and stymies activity. The negativity that tends to exude from worriers is very discouraging to those around them. How many of you just seek out a worrier because of their bubbly persona and spontaneous creativity? Hey folks – worry is sin!
One time Jesus was being followed by a large crowd which He lead up to a mountainside before sitting down to teach them about life, relationships and pleasing God. As recorded in Matthew 6:25-34 He teaches us “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body or what you will wear…” It says do not worry about tomorrow for that will come on its own and you cannot do a thing about it, so take care of living in today. It even says that those that do worry are of “little faith” a place way short of where Jesus would like us to be. If Jesus says “do not” and you do it then what conclusion can you come to concerning the pleasure He is taking in you?
Battling worry is hard. The Bible does not just say “don’t” but also gives us proactive measures to battle against our tendency to worry. In Philippians 4:6 it says” Do not be anxious (e.g. worry!) about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Have you ever heard the saying “let go and let God?” Don’t just not worry but take those unreasonable fears and “what if’s” and replace them with things God finds pleasing to Him – prayer for those anxieties and thanksgiving for what you do have.” It goes on to say in verse 8, “…whatever is true (are our fears true?), whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me or seen in me – put into practice. And the peace of God will be with you.”
What sounds better, turmoil of the soul or the peace of Jesus? Obviously the peace of Jesus! But then, why do many of us settle for the turmoil of the soul tortured with worry and stymied in our potential? Is it because we do not trust God to do what He says He will? Settling into a wallow of worry can actually be comforting to some. Do you know why? Because it gives the brief warped illusion that we somehow have a bit of control over our fears and “what if’s” by fretting and sliding into worry. We may not even know we are doing it! I think Jesus looks at us with a sad shake of the head as He thinks “you of little faith.”
Does the peace of God sound good? Put into practice God’s formula that battles worry. Have regular conversations with God in prayer. Make a list of things you are thankful for. Practice looking for the potential positives not the negatives. Realize that faith means that God is God and you are not – let Him handle it. God wants to confront the problems – just work on enjoying the good stuff!
This weekly devotion is written by John Key