Thursday, June 9, 2011

Worry wages war on your faith


Matthew 6:33-34 Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. (34) "Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.


Planning for tomorrow is time well spent; worrying about tomorrow is time wasted. Sometimes it's difficult to tell the difference. Careful planning is thinking ahead about goals, steps, and schedules, and trusting in God's guidance. When done well, planning can help alleviate worry. Worriers, by contrast, are consumed by fear and find it difficult to trust God. They let their plans interfere with their relationship with God. Don't let worries about tomorrow affect your relationship with God today.


I have been reading a book by Max Lucado, "Every day deserves a chance", that has ministered to me deeply. I would like to journal some of his comments for today's application of our text:

The Greek word for worry, merimnao, stems from the verb merizo (divide) and nous (mind). Worry cleavers the mind, splitting thoughts between today and tomorrow. Today stands against it. Fretting over tomorrow's problems today siphons the strength you need for now, leaving you anemic and weak.

Worry gives small problems big shadows.

Montaigne said, "My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happen."

Corrie Ten Boom commented, "Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows; it empties tody of its strength." Worry scuttles our lives, hurts us, and most sadly, dishonors God.

God says: "Every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good" (Romans 8:28)
Worry takes a look at catastrophes and groans, "It's all coming unraveled."

God's Word says, "God has done it all and done it well (Mark 7:37)
Worry disagrees: "The world has gone crazy."

God's Word calls God "the blessed controller of all things" (I Timothy 6:15)
Worry wonders if anyone is in control.

God's Word declares, "God will take care of everything you need" (Philippians 4:19)
Worry whispers this lie: "God doesn't know what you need."

God's Word reasons: "You're at least decent to your own children. So don't you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?" (Matthew 7:11)
Worry discounts and replies, "You're on your own. It's you against the world."

You see worry wages war on your faith. You know that. You hate to worry. But what can you do to stop it? These three worry stoppers deserve your consideration:

Pray more. No one can pray and worry at the same time. When we worry, we aren't praying. When we pray, we aren't worrying. "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You" (Isaiah 26:3)

Want less. Most anxiety stems, not from what we need, but from what we want. "Delight yourselves in the Lord, yes, find your joy in Him at all times" (Philippians 4:4). If God is enough for you, then you'll always have enough, because you'll always "have God.

Live for today. Heaven still has her manna house. The bushes still hide quail. And you still have today. Don't sacrifice it on the altar of anxiety. "Live only for the hour and its allowed work...set earnestly at the little task at your elbow...our plain duty is 'not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.'" (William Osler)

May I urge you to do the same? "Go confidently to the throne of God's kindness to receive mercy and find kindness, which will help us at the right time" (Hebrews 4:16)

Wow! What a powerful application of today's Scripture verse.


"Lord, I am so thankful for what you are teaching me about THIS DAY. I have given too much attention to tomorrow, and it's potential problems, and not enough attention to THIS DAY. Your Word has shown me today I need to give my entire attention to TODAY. You never promised to give me victory over my FRIENDS, but over my ENEMIES. I want to make sin, in particular, worry my enemy so that You can help me defeat it. I give you all the praise and the glory THIS DAY, in Jesus' name, amen!"


Anonymous said...

Thank you so very much for your insight on worry. I have been worrying so much about my husband...he's in steels my joy on a lot of my days. I just want him to come home safely. This is his 8th time deploying. I always feel so blessed when he comes home but worry like crazy when he's the enemy will get him this time. Thank you though your thoughts redirected my thughts and I found truth and confidence in what you posted. I will do my best to honor my Great God who is in complete control. May God bless you on this journey of life. B.B.