I am alarmed at the increased number of people who are dealing with anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Stress and worry have become a way of life for many, including Christians. In a time when modern conveniences should eliminate stress, it appears they have enhanced the situation. Stress and worry try to devour the peace and happiness of everyone they touch. They are major contributors to heart attacks, high blood pressure, ulcers, and a lot of other medical issues. They drain energy from the body and mind.
Various studies show that 40 percent of what people worry about never happen; 30 percent are in the past and can’t be changed; 12 percent are from criticism by others, most of which is untrue; 10 percent are from health, which gets worse with worry; and only 8 percent are from real problems. So 92 percent of what we worry about either doesn’t happen, is not true, or cannot be changed. Someone said, “Worry is the interest you pay on troubles that seldom come.”
Have you ever kept a worry log? Make a list of everything you worry about for seven days. Notice how little or no control you have over most of your concerns. Worry is faith in the negative. It is a belief in defeat. It has been said, “Worry is wasting today’s time to clutter up tomorrow’s opportunities with yesterday’s troubles.” Erma Bombeck said, “Worry is like a rocking chair—it gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere.”
Let’s look at what scripture says about worry. “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (Matt. 6:25–33 NLT).
Jesus said anxiety, worry, and fear have no place in your life. Lynette Hagin
In this passage, the Lord is not suggesting that you do not worry—He is giving a direct command. His instructions are specific. Jesus said anxiety, worry, and fear have no place in your life.
However, I’m sure that many of us would admit to struggling with the cares of life. Has anyone ever told you not to worry when you were describing a situation to them? You probably replied, “That’s easier said than done.” In life’s journey, a hard piece of luggage to shed is worry. It is a tough habit to break.
An example of how to handle worry is found in Philippians 4:4–7 (NLT): “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
When Paul wrote these words, he was a prisoner in Rome, chained 24 hours a day to a Roman soldier and facing possible execution. He had a marvelous opportunity to be worried, but he said to REJOICE!
I encourage you to replace worry with joy. Why can you rejoice? Because God will bring you out of any difficult situation or decision you might face. As Paul so aptly said: “You are more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:37).
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