In this segment over the years, I’ve spoken quite a deal about worry. Why do I keep coming back to it? Because it’s such a problem for so many people. It’s hard to define what worry is, but many of us indulge in worry activity each day. We’re faced with so many decisions and pressures, we sometimes get caught up in anxious thoughts.
I read recently where a doctor from John Hopkins University said: “we do not know why it is that worriers die sooner than non-worriers: but that is a fact”. That’s a scary statement isn’t it?
This particular word “worrying” translated in Greek literally means “to be drawn in different directions”. Worry pulls us apart in different directions.
Maybe that’s why Jesus asked the question in Matthew 6:27 “Can worry make you live longer?”
Of course, it can’t and it won’t. Jesus is not trying to insult us by asking ridiculous questions. Our worrying is taking us in the wrong direction, and bringing harm to ourselves. The doctors say you could die before you should if you keep on worrying. In fact, when we worry every system in our body is affected. There can be blood clots, blood pressure, increased risk of heart attack and even stroke. Muscle tension leads to headaches, backaches, stomach aches.
Dr E. Stanley Jones famously said, “we are not designed to live in fear and worry”.
It goes against our nature and is often destructive. Worry solves nothing. It cannot change situations or outcomes..it cannot correct a past mistake, prevent a calamity in the future, or supply us with anything we don’t already have. We worry about many things, our health, work, money, our children, our marriage, our parents, or the future. What is going to happen to me?
Proverbs 12:25 says “an anxious heart weighs a man down”.
Maybe you know firsthand what that’s like. We feel life is going by too fast and we feel anxious like Psalm 144:4, “man is like a breath, his days are like a fleeting shadow”.
Does worrying really accomplish anything anyway? Does it solve the problem at hand? No. In many instances, all it does is create stress, havoc, sleeplessness and sickness. Worry is emotionally, physically and spiritually draining us of so much. And the strange thing is that most of what we worry about will probably never happen anyway.
So what is the solution? The Bible has the answer in Psalm 37:5, “Let the Lord lead you and trust Him to help”. That’s a far better plan than laying awake at night worrying.
Sometimes we worry because we don’t really believe in God and His promises. We don’t take them seriously. We might say we believe in Him, but that’s about all. How sad that many don’t believe they have a Heavenly Father who will provide for their needs.
Another important verse from the Bible is 1 Peter 5:7. Write this down and memorise it.
”God cares for you, so turn all your worries over to Him” 1 Peter 5:7
How liberating it would be if we could believe and practice this every day. Because if we do, it means that God will help and sustain us. He will be our strength and support, replacing worry.
Psalm 55:22 says “Our Lord, we belong to you. We tell you what worries us, and you won’t let us fall.” He is bigger than all our worries and problems put together.
Meditate on Philippians 4: 6-8,
“Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel. Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise.”
“Worry is focusing on the problem. Prayer is focusing on Jesus who controls everything, including your life.”
I’m trying to say this morning that God can handle your situation even when you cannot. He is in control of your life, and He wants you to have joy and everlasting life.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says “with all your heart you must trust the Lord and not your own judgement. Always let Him lead you, and He will clear the road for you to follow”.
Dutch watchmaker and Nazi Holocaust survivor Corrie Ten Boom put it so well, “Look around and be distressed: Look inside and be depressed: Look at Jesus and be at rest.”
American writer Mark Twain said, “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened”.
Worry accomplishes nothing. Our energy would be better spent focusing on God and His way for our life. Take any of your worries to Him in prayer, and He can help you the right way. Then you will have true peace of mind and heart.