Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Strangle Hold of Worry

This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.

The past couple of days we have looked at "Eight Reasons NOT to be Anxious." Today I want us to look at WORRY.

There's an old Greek proverb that says, "The bow that is always bent will soon break."

Deep-seated worry can be harmful to your emotional and physical health. Dr. Charles Mayo, the founder of the Mayo Clinic, wrote this about worry: “Worry affects the circulation, the heart, the digestive system, and the entire nervous system. I’ve never known a person to die of overwork, but many who died from worry.”

Our English word “worry” is derived from the old German word wurgen, meaning “to choke.” The term has come to be used to denote “mental strangulation” to describe the harmful effects of worry.

We must also remember that worry is a sin. The Bible says, Everything that does not come from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23 NIV).

I would like to share with you a few quotes that I have gathered that speaks about worry:

"Never trouble trouble till trouble troubles you." -- Anonymous

"God never built a Christian strong enough to carry today's duties and tomorrow's anxieties piled on the top of them." -- Theodore Ledyard Cuyler

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows; it empties today of its strength." -- Corrie Ten Boom, cited in The Best of BITS & PIECES

"Worry is the interest we pay on tomorrow's troubles." -- E. Stanley Jones

"Let us not bankrupt our todays by paying interest on the regrets of yesterday and by borrowing in advance the troubles of tomorrow." -- Ralph W. Sockman (1889-1970), minister, B&P 8/22/03

The opposite of worry is faith. Whenever we approach a situation, we can grab it by the handle of faith or the handle of worry. Faith is the end of anxiety, and anxiety is the end of faith. Faith and worry are mutually exclusive. You can experience one or the other but not both at the same time. Worry is a sin because it basically infers that God is a liar. God has promised to love us and to take care of us. He has promised that all things will work together for our good (Romans 8:28). He has invited us to cast our burdens upon Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). Whenever we worry we are suggesting that God cannot be trusted, that He can’t fulfill His promise. Many evangelical Christians would never commit adultery, steal, or commit gross sins of the flesh, but at the same time, they are chronic worriers. You will not have victory over your worry until you admit that worry is a sin. Worry must become our ENEMY and not our FRIEND.

And He said to His disciples, "For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing." (Luke 12:22-23, NASB)

All the water in the world however hard it tried, could never, ever sink a ship unless it got inside. All the hardships of this world, Might wear you pretty thin, But they won’t hurt you, one least bit ... Unless you let them in.

Are you a worrier? If you’re like a lot of people, worry just might be one of the things that makes life miserable. It’s not uncommon for people to lose sleep, drop weight, develop "nervous tics," suffer ulcers or other gastric disorders, or get pretty sick in other ways, all from worry. Worry just might be one of the elements that feeds a grand variety of mental and emotional disorders. And even though we don’t usually diagnose things this way, worry is the cause of countless spiritual maladies as well.

Some people waste time worrying about things they really cannot change. Perhaps the point is this: if something is within your ability, do something about it. If it’s not, try changing yourself first, by developing new abilities, then attacking the problem. Remember one thing above all else - worry doesn’t fix anything. In fact, worry will add an extra burden to any problem. It clouds the mind, wrecks the emotions, and kills the spirit. How does a befuddled, nervous, spiritually dead person accomplish anything worthwhile? You’ve got to get a handle on worry.

How can you get a handle on worry? By changing your MEDITATION. Change what you allow to dwell in your mind. If you went to a doctor for a physical problem, he would probably give you some medicine. If after a few days the medicine didn't work, the doctor would CHANGE YOUR MEDICATION to something else. That is exactly what we as Christians need to do. What we have been meditating on leads to worry and anxiety so Jesus, the great Physician, wants us to CHANGE OUR MEDITATION. What is meditation? In its simplest form, it is what you dwell on in your mind. If you are a worrier, then you are dwelling on, or meditating on, your problem. When you change your meditation, you change what you are welling on. Stop dwelling on your problem, and start dwelling on your problem solver, Jesus Christ!

Some people seem more prone to worry than others, but it’s possible for anyone to reduce the extremes. Legitimate concern can serve as a powerful motivator. The fact that we care deeply about some issue is a positive. Worry, however, paralyzes us, and leaves us powerless. Try to figure out if you can do something or not. If so, do. If not, don’t. Either way, worry isn’t the answer, but trusting your faithful God is!

One day a man is walking through a park and stops to observe a dad who is tossing his child up in the air and catching him. He noticed the child seemed so calm, and had very little fear at all of falling to the ground. The man walks over to the dad and ask him why the child remains so relaxed although he is out of control. The father says "It's because we have a history. We've played this game before, and I've never dropped him."

My friend, remember the history that you have with God. He has never dropped you, and HE'S NOT GOING TO START TODAY!

I love you all, and pray you have a FAITH-FILLED day. Refuse to allow worry to put a strangle hold on you. Cast all your cares on Jesus, because He cares for you.

Rejoicing (and spinning) in this wonderful day,

Pastor Rusty L. Blann

6 comments:

Treasure Seeker said...

Good Stuff. This is something I am going to refer back to again and again!
God is faithful! Thanks for the great teaching.

Randy said...

Thanks Pastor Rusty for all the inspiring "Connecting Points". It is a pleasure to read them each day. Your topic today about worry had a lot of very good points. It is very true that worry can cause much misery and the things people usually worry about are things they can’t usually change. It reminds me of a quote I once read:

Put your trust in the Lord and go ahead. Worry gets you no place.
Roy Acuff (1903 - 1992)

Keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

I am glad that you are posting these blogs. Sometimes Pastors seem on a different level than the rest of us. Its nice to see you show your humanity with humility. Thanks for all you do.

tanya p said...

It still amazes me how God places things in your heart to speak to us and how it hits the nail on the head everytime!! GOD is so good!! He just reminds us thru you that He is right here with us, carrying us in His loving hands!! Thank you for listening to HIM!! Your blog is truly a blessing to me and our family!!!!!!

Pastor Rusty said...

Thanks to everyone for reading the blog, and your comments. I am so thankful that God is using it. God is faithful. It is so easy to give into the strangle hold of worry, but with persistence and faith, peace can win out over worry every time. Blessings to you all!

Wanda C said...

Pastor,

I can't tell you enough how much I enjoy reading these daily postings. We are such a blessed church to have such a faithful and devoted pastor! Each of your blogs have a way of speaking to everyone in one way or another. Thanks for taking the time daily to share what God lays on your heart!

Wanda