“Don’t worry!” It’s a phrase often repeated. Easy to say, hard to do. Worry comes from an old Germanic word meaning “to strangle or choke.” That’s exactly what worry can do, it can choke the life out of you. There are so many things to worry about…your job, your kids, your finances, your health, our country, world crisis, and on it goes. All the “what-ifs” of worry keep the mind racing, the heart pounding, the blood pressure rising. Loss of sleep, panic attacks and difficulty breathing can be physical symptoms of worry. At the end of the day, we all know that worry has no benefit and is detrimental to our mental, physical, and spiritual health. So, there’s a choice you get to make which will determine the kind of life you live. It’s a choice between your emotions informing your faith or your faith informing your emotions. Either you can live your life allowing your emotions to determine what you think, focus on, how you feel, and in turn affect your health—body, mind, and soul, or you can live so that your faith determines what you think and focus on, which in turn affects how you feel—body, mind, and soul. Worry is a sin, so as a Christ-follower you must learn to trust God and not carry the burden of worry which you have no power to control.
Scriptures – Romans 14:23; 2 Timothy 1:7: Matthew 6:25; James 1:22; Philippians 4:6-7; Matthew 6:33-34; Matthew 6:26-27
Verse – For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. (Ro 14:23) “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” (Mt 6:25) 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. (Ph 4:6-7)
Thought – So, how do you overcome the stranglehold of worry? First, do what God asks you to do! Many Christ-followers want “easy.” Just push it all on God and let him fix it. God can fix anything, he can perform miracles…that’s true, but it’s not the entire fix. You have a responsibility to be obedient, to do what God asks you to do. This means being wise! If you need a job, you should be actively looking for a job, seeking leads, putting out your resume. You cannot sit around playing on your phone all day waiting for God to send a job your way. Many times, before God moves, he’s going to ask you to do something. Only you know what God is asking you to do, but it’s key to set your thoughts on the right things. We’re to take every thought captive to Christ. Be positive, hopeful, believe in what God’s power can do, and allow your faith to inform your thoughts, focus and actions. It requires retraining your mind; don’t put your trust in Satan’s lies. Next, you must give to God what you cannot do. When you are cooperating with God, doing what he asks, doing your part, put the rest in his hands. Trust him! When you trust God, you realize that God already knows about tomorrow, he’s already there. Time is no issue for God. You don’t know the future, so put your trust in the One who does! God will set you free from worry.
Questions – Are you by nature a worry wart? What is your greatest worry right now? How has worry robbed you of joy, peace, and contentment? What is your process for managing a situation that is worrying you? Do you think age is a factor in how prone a person is to worry? Explain.
Response – Write down anything that is worrying you. Write down things you need to do to help the situation, things that are within your power. Now, write down the things that must be left to God. Write some Scriptures that assure you of God’s power and ability to handle what you cannot do. Pray. Give to God what you cannot do.
Prayer – Lord, you alone know all that worries me, plagues my sleep, and challenges my peace. Help me to know what I can and cannot do. Strengthen my faith so that my thoughts, focus, and actions are informed by your word and your truth. I want to rest in you, find shelter in your power, and experience the peace that comes only from knowing that your love never fails. Thank you for loving me! In Jesus’ Name I pray, amen.