Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Winning Over Worry

It’s been said that “Worry is like a rocking chair, it will give you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Worry can get the best of us. It consumes our lives and leaves us continually desperate and hopeless. But, here’s the truth about worry (according to Psychology research):

40% of our worries are about events that will never happen
30% of our worries are about event that have already happened
22% of our worries are about trivial events
4% of our worries are about events we cannot change
4% of our worries are about real events on which we can act.

So, the bottom line is that 96% of what we worry about . . . we have no control over. That equates to “wasted” time. And we simply don’t have time to waste in this life. With that in mind, we need to remind ourselves the truth about worry—worry has NEVER solved a problem.

“Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” 
(Matthew 6:27 NLT)

It’s a question that begs an answer. And the question is obviously rhetorical. What we must realize is that Jesus isn’t trying to insult us by asking such a ridiculous question. He asked the question to convict our hearts and turn us toward God. He did so because our worrying is taking us in the wrong direction . . . in the sight of God, worry is a sin. The root of our worrying is unbelief. And as hard as that is to accept, it is Truth. Just take a look at Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:25 (NIV):

“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?”

This command is no different than those in the Ten Commandments. “Do not” are strong words. There’s no need for interpretation. There’s no chance of misinterpretation. And if God tells us not to do something . . . it is with good reason. Our worrying is clear evidence of our lack of faith in Him. If we’re trusting in God completely . . . there should never be a need to worry.  We hear Jesus’ words pierce through our sin once more in Matthew 6:28-30 (NLT):

“Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, . . . 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?”

Those words can seem condemning . . . but in reality they are freeing.  Through those words, Jesus is telling us some things that are profound and powerful to our lives:

1.      1) We need to confess our worries as sin. Jesus commands us not to worry three times in verses 25, 31, and 34, so that means worry is disobedience to God. So, what He’s telling us is that we don’t have to worry. We must take responsibility for our worrying AND we can turn away from it. (Philippians 4:6-7):

“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.”

2.      2)We must trust God instead of living like He doesn’t exist. Worry is not our problem . . . our lack of faith is. Our worry is a denial of God’s love, power, and wisdom. If God has brought you into the desert of your life, if you’re suffering beyond comprehension, know that He has permitted in His wisdom what He could easily prevent in His power. As hard as that might be to accept in our lives, it is truth. There is no such thing as God being “almost” sovereign. In times of doubt and despair, when worry gets the best of us, we can cling to God’s Promises that will not return void. (Isaiah 55:11) God has given us incredible Promises by which to build the foundation of our life upon, yet we do “lean unto our own understanding, instead of trusting God with all of our hearts.”
(Proverbs 3:5-6)

3.   3)  We must pray and offer praise and then enter into God’s rest. If we’re truly trusting God in our circumstances, then we can rest. We no longer have to worry. Matthew 11:28 (AMP)assures us that:

“Jesus said, ‘Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]’”

I don’t know about you, but that’s one promise I can’t live without! We all need rest . . . ease and relief and refreshment for our souls! We can trust God. He keeps the universe in motion . . . surely He can handle our worries!
Corrie Ten Boom said it best,

“Look around and be distressed.
Look inside and be depressed.
Look at Jesus and be at rest.”

I know, it’s easier said than done. Replace your worries by seeking out God’s Promises for you—make the decision to trust Him above all else. Then, turn all your worries over to God. He’s going to be up all night anyway. (Psalm 121:4- Mary C. Crowley) When you’re consumed with worry and grasping onto what little faith you have left. Trust in God’s Promises through Psalm 121:

1 (A Song of Ascents.) 
     I Will lift up my eyes to the mountains; 
    From whence shall my help come?
2 My help comes from the LORD, 
   Who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to slip; 
   He who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, He who keeps Israel 
   Will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD is your keeper; 
   The LORD is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun will not smite you by day, 
   Nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will protect  you from all evil; 
   He will keep  your soul.
8 The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in 
   From this time forth and forever.

There’s power in these promises. Cling to them. Trust in them. Rest in them. Don’t allow worry to get the best of you. You can only win over worry if you’re trusting in God. Continually choose to trust God, even when there appears to be no evidence that you should. That’s faith.

Further Thoughts About Worry:

Today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday. 
~Author Unknown

If I had my life to live over,
 I would perhaps have more actual troubles but I'd have fewer imaginary ones. 
~Don Herold

If you want to test your memory,
 try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today. 
 ~E. Joseph Cossman

People gather bundles of sticks to build bridges they never cross. 
~Author Unknown

For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe. 
 ~Author Unknown

Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow. 
~Swedish Proverb

Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer
is to small to be made into a burden. 
~Corrie ten Boom

I am an old man and have known a great many troubles,
 but most of them never happened.  ~Mark Twain

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due
 ~William Ralph Inge

Do not be afraid of tomorrow; for God is already there. 
~Author Unknown


Marja Verschoor-Meijers said...

Good post, worry is indeed a sin. And as long as we don't see it that way, we keep doing it.

Cherie Hill said...

So true Marja! It's so important for us to face Truth so that we can turn to God for strength to overcome our weaknesses! Blessings to you!

Anonymous said...

You're right- easier to talk about than to live, but it's worth it to trust Him and be at rest. Love this post. I know these things, but I need reminders! Thanks Cherie.

Anonymous said...

Great to "meet" you Cherie. What a great post on a topic I'm sure many of us struggle and battle to overcome. Looking forward to reading more of your posts!

Peggy said...

Blessings Cherie, Love reading all these promises in one place and the additional quotes! Fortunately by God's grace, I don't worry about WORRY that much any longer, not even the social security situation that supports me, because God is my Provision (but it will change things). I just release it to God and trust in the Lord just like you started this great post. I love how you specified the 3 power and profound insights from Matthew 6 showing us how to win over worry and then brought us to the Psalm where we look to the hills from where our help comes. Counting on it. Thanks for your refreshing words and precious visits. I'm honored.

Love and peace,

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I am so blessed that you would take the time to share your thoughts with me! You encourage my faith and I pray that God will fill you to the full with His love, mercy,and grace! With joy, Cherie

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