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The Way Away from Worry!

Comments Off on The Way Away from Worry! 10 November 2010

The Way Away from Worry!

Is there a way to escape from worry? Worry is a sin! That is the clear teaching of Scripture. We are all guilty of a certain amount of it. In Matt. 6:34, Jesus said, “Do not worry.” The reasons are multiple: worry will damage us emotionally, physically, and spiritually. That fatigued feeling you have may be due to worry. The feelings of despair that you are dealing with may be caused by worry. Worry also hinders us form accomplishing all that God wants to do through us.

You may say, “Well don’t we have legitimate worries?” No. We have legitimate concerns about things that trouble us. It is not a sin to have concern about the things that are happening to us today. It is a sin to worry about things that may or may not happen tomorrow, or things that have already happened that we cannot change.

The Apostle Paul said, (Phil. 4:6 TLB) “Don’t worry about anything.” He was saying we should trust God in His providential care to take care of the needs of our lives and live free from worry. So, how can we walk  in a way that is away from worry? Here are a few remarkable teachings of the Scripture regarding worry. Consider them with me. I like to think of them as stepping stones on the way away from worry.

1. Appraise the value of your worry – Jesus asked, (Matt. 6:27 TLB) Will all your worries add a single moment to your life? The expected answer is “No.” In fact, it will do just the opposite. It will take away moments, even days from your life. If you worry about losing your hair, for example, you will lose it. Stress can contribute to hair loss. If you worry about becoming ill, your immune system will be lowered in its performance. Worry does not enhance, it really breaks a person down. Proverbs 12:25 (The Living Bible) Anxious hearts are very heavy, but a word of encouragement does wonders! Worry destroys, encouragement delivers!

2. Attend to the essentials in your life – Matt. 6:25–26 (TLB) “So my counsel is: Don’t worry about things—food, drink, and clothes. For you already have life and a body—and they are far more important than what to eat and wear. 26 Look at the birds! They don’t worry about what to eat—they don’t need to sow or reap or store up food—for your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are. Take a look at your priorities is what He is saying. We worry about the non-essentials and stumble over or ignore the essentials. We get concerned about what we will eat, and we forget that the more important things have to do with our souls and their relationship to Christ and His kingdom. Re-prioritize and your worry will decrease.

3. Acknowledge that God cares for you – In a recent blog I addressed how much God cares for you. In Matt. 6, Jesus gave us the example of the birds and reminded us that God cares for them. Surely we have more value in His eyes than a little bird. God cares about you! I said before, look at Calvary to see how much God cares for you. (1 Pet. 5:7 TLB) 7 Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.

4. Always be joyful – (Phil. 4:4–5 TLB) 4 Always be full of joy in the Lord; I say it again, rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are unselfish and considerate in all you do. Remember that the Lord is coming soon. That does not mean be happy all of the time. There are some things that cross up our happiness. But, it does mean be joyful. The reason we can be joyful is that our joy is in Christ. It is not in our circumstances. If we have Christ, we have the source and the cause for our joy. He will never leave us, so neither will our joy!

5. Actively give your concerns to God – You won’t do that unless you trust God. Paul taught, (Phil. 4:6–7 TLB) 6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers. 7 If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus. Instead of taking on the whole responsibility for fixing everything in your life and in the lives of others, as is the habit of so many of us, we are to place the responsibility where it belongs – on God’s shoulders. The idea of trust is clear in the Old Testament where it is used 152 times. It teaches that we can give our concerns to God because He is trustworthy!

6. Allow God to right wrongs done to you – (Rom. 12:19 TLB) 19 Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God, for he has said that he will repay those who deserve it. Don’t take the law into your own hands. It cannot be made any more plain than that. God says we are not to fret when others do us wrong. We are not to try to balance the books. We are to allow Him to handle it His way knowing that He will do a better job than we could imagine to do. God will do it in a manner that is right and holy in His sight. The success or failure of those who do us wrong is not our business. It belongs to God. We are to let Him call others to account for their wrongs against us. It keeps us from sinning, and His way of dealing with it is far more effective than ours would be anyway!

7. Always pray – (1 Thess. 5:17 TLB) 17 Always keep on praying. Yes, we should have a set time each day to pray. If we do not discipline ourselves to do it we will not get it done. But, we are also to remain in an attitude of prayer all day long, so when God speaks we will hear Him, and when we need to speak to Him we will not be scrambling as if to find Him. Prayer works. If you pray for rain you’d better carry an umbrella! When you pray you have no need to worry, just wait for God’s answer: yes, no, or wait!

8. Assign your life to God – (Ps. 37:5 TLB) 5 Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him to help you do it, and he will. When the psalmist says, “commit” he is talking about placing our lives beneath the blood of Jesus for cleansing and redemption. He is also talking about wrapping ourselves together with God like you would with a young child as you wrap yourself up in a blanket with him or her. What a marvelous picture of the love and protective grace of our Father God.

9. Adore God – (Ps. 37:4 TLB) 4 Be delighted with the Lord. Then he will give you all your heart’s desires. Here the psalmist is saying we are to take pleasure in God. We are to love worshipping Him, we are to enjoy Him, and from Him receive lasting joy. Everything God has made is for our enjoyment, the Scriptures tell us. We should adore God for whom He is and for what He does for us. I looked up into the clear Tennessee sky the other night and saw the full moon here in fall and marveled and adored God for His wonderful creation. When you are adoring God there is no room for worry!

10. Avoid looking at your problems and look away to Jesus – (Heb. 12:1–2 TLB) 1 Since we have such a huge crowd of men of faith watching us from the grandstands, let us strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back, and especially those sins that wrap themselves so tightly around our feet and trip us up; and let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us. 2 Keep your eyes on Jesus, our leader and instructor. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterwards; and now he sits in the place of honor by the throne of God. When you stare your troubles in the face they bewilder you. When you turn away from them and keep your eyes focused on Jesus they pale in significance. So, practice looking away to Jesus. In fact, get away with Him and sit with Him where you are positioned, “in the heavenlies” and get His view of your circumstances.

11. Abide in Christ – (Ps. 37:7–9 TLB) 7 Rest in the Lord; wait patiently for him to act. Don’t be envious of evil men who prosper. 8 Stop your anger! Turn off your wrath. Don’t fret and worry—it only leads to harm. 9 For the wicked shall be destroyed, but those who trust the Lord shall be given every blessing. Here is the answer for wanting to make everything right yourself. Let God take care of it. Don’t worry about it. The idea of “wait” is to abide or rest in Him. We are only willing to abide or rest in Him if we trust Him completely. Worrying means we are not abiding. Just let go and let God! When we give it all up to God, we get to rest, to abide, to let Him take over while we wait patiently on Him!

You have to decide. Will you worry, or will you trust? Paul says what we have learned we are to put into practice. I challenge you to put into practice what you have learned about living worry free!

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