Greetings precious people, in todayís article I would like to address another area of life common to us all, worry. Websterís Dictionary defines worry as to feel distressed in the mind, to be anxious, troubled or uneasy.
Worry is also known as anxiousness, having anxiety. If you have read advertisements in the newspapers and magazines or listened to the advertisements on the television you have been led to believe that more people than you may have thought suffer from worry and anxiety. Pharmasuitical firms teaming up with the psychiatric industry are telling us that they have the cure for what ails us. Of course, this comes at a price and many years of therapy.
There are no shortage of circumstances, situations, and events that can bring on worry. Everyday events such as the safety of our children and grandchildren, job security, our future and our past, the possibility of more attacks on our country, driving on the freeways with all the crazy drivers, to name just a few.
Some of these are valid concerns where others are imagined and can cause a person undue anxiety. A person can let their minds race with the "what ifs" and the "what might happen and could happen." The human mind is a wonderful thing. God created it to accomplish great feats. Just think of the many inventions and discoveries that has made life better.
The mind can also be something that can cause great unrest in a personís life. Our minds are always at work it seems, thinking this or that. Even when we are at sleep, our minds can run to and fro with thoughts. It can be a playground for Satan and his lies if we allow him the freedom to plant thoughts in our minds.
God, on the other hand, would have His children live a worry free life. No where in the Bible will you find God telling His children to worry or to be anxious. The fact is, God commands us not to worry or be anxious.
In Matthew 6:25-32, "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' "For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things."
Please note a few important points which Jesus addresses to us. First, the three areas he addresses are those which are a concern to all, life, food, and clothing. These are the basic necessities of life. He uses the illustration of how God cares and provides for the birds and the lilies. Secondly, Jesus tells us the reason for which we do not have to worry. God has promised to take care of us. God is not like man. God does not lie; He never has and never will.
Listen to the testimony that David gave of the faithfulness of God to take care of His children. In Psalm 37:25, "I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread." God is faithful to do exactly what He has promised. In this the child of God can rest and be at peace.
Because of this, it is a sin to worry and be anxious. When I worry, I am not trusting God who has promised to take care of me. Instead I am allowing thoughts of doubt and worry to control my life rather than the peace of God, and this is sin.
Thirdly, Jesus reveals the emptiness of worry when He asks the question, "Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?" Worry is of no value at all; in fact recent discoveries have revealed that worry reduces the longevity of oneís life. Tell me dear ones, what good has ever come by your worrying about anything? I know in my own life, nothing good has ever come from it. I have only wasted my time and energy worrying. The old hymn "What a friend we have in Jesus" puts it so well when it says, "Oh what peace we often forfeit; Oh, what needless pain we bear; All because we do not carry, everything to God in Prayer."
So the Big Question is, how do we keep from worrying and being anxious? The answer is found in Godís Word, the Bible. In Philippians 4:6-7, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
When God says, "Be anxious for nothing", He is not making a suggestion for us to consider. Rather He is commanding us not to be anxious, not to worry. He then proceeds to instruct us how to not worry. In EVERYTHING by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Everything that is a concern to you, that worries you, tell God about it in prayer. Ask Him for His help. Believe that He will help you, for His Word tells us in 1 Peter 5:7, "Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." We are also told to give thanks with all this.
When we do this Godís promise of peace will follow. It is a peace that the world does not know and can not give. It is a peace that passes all human understanding and it is free. Think of the deal God offers to all His children, I give Him all my cares, worries, and fears and He gives me peace, wonderful peace. Such a deal that cannot be beaten anywhere.
This is the first step to an anxious free life. Philippians 4:8 tells us how to maintain it, "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things."
As has already been stated, our minds are always at work. Thoughts come to our minds that can cause us to worry. We need to learn to take these thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ and the previous verse gives us the way in which we can do this. Think on Godís Word, memorize His promises. When the thoughts of worry come, take them to God in prayer, leave them there, trust Him with them, and then meditate on His promises. Listen to Isaiah 26:3, "You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.í
Precious people, you need not live your life griped with anxiety and worry. Trust Jesus Christ today, give Him all that troubles you and trust Him to lead and guide your life. If you do not have a Bible and would like one, request one and we will send you one free of charge. If you would like to start a home Bible study course, write and request this also and we will send it to you.
If you have any questions, comments, or prayer requests you can contact me at: Calvary Chapel of Alpine, P.O. Box 1528, Alpine, Ca. 91903 or call 619-445-2589, or e-mail email@example.com
Drew Macintyre is pastor of Calvary Chapel of Alpine