Winning Over Worry
I make it a priority to watch the news daily so I understand the world I live in. It’s important to understand the events that affect people so I’m able to understand how people perceive and cope with life.
However, it is difficult to maintain a positive faith among the turmoil and destruction that is happening all around the globe. Wars and discontent are surfacing in the Ukraine and Mid-East, financial collapse of the US dollar is being projected by many economists, the prospects for a better life are fading and giving way to worry. People are living under the constant pressure of uncertainty.
How do we respond as Christians to this giant of chaos that surrounds us?
The first and foremost choice we must make is to interpret the events in the world through the eyes of scripture…the Bible.
II Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.
When we read the Bible God instructs us how to live and interpret life properly.
Last week, I wrote these words in my journal: You become like the God you serve and focus upon.
In Numbers 25, the Israelites began to worship the gods of the Moabites and intermarried with their people. Their lifestyle became promiscuous because the gods they served promoted immorality.
Worry can become an idol, also, if we fail or are unwilling to consult God’s word. God has some wise advice and words of comfort on this subject in two key passages.
Matthew 6:25-34 is the first passage of scripture that everyone should highlight in their Bibles.
Therefore, I tell you, do no worry about your life…
The word therefore is a concluding thought from verses 19 through 24. These verses contrast temporal treasures on earth with eternal treasures in heaven. Verse 24 ends with, “you cannot serve God and mammon.”
Mammon represents money and material things.
Four times in verses 25, 28, 31 and 34, this passage commands us not to worry. Why? He gives us two reasons.
First, verse 32 says the pagans, or non-believers, live this way on a regular basis. When the follower of Christ worries, he or she acts the same way the world does; our testimony for Christ is greatly weakened.
Verse 33 encourages us to “seek first His kingdom and all these things [temporal things we need on a daily basis] will be given to you.”
The conclusion of this passage is to interpret life through the eyes of eternity and you will win over worry.
The second key passage is Philippians 4:4-9. Worry is annihilated when you learn to rejoice in the Lord, not your circumstances.
The origin of the Philippian church is described in Acts 16. Paul, the apostle, and writer of this letter, knew firsthand what he was writing about. While in jail, he and his companion Silas were beaten and put in stocks. Their response was to sing hymns and songs that caused them to rejoice in the Lord.
Focus on God’s greatness, not the enormity of your problem!
Once we have focused on God’s greatness, Philippians 4:6 commands us not to be anxious about anything. How do you do this?
He goes on to say that we are to pray and give God our concerns and thank Him immediately that He will grant us our requests. The result is that peace will guard our hearts.
Philippians 4:8 encourages us to follow up our prayers with disciplined thinking that focuses upon godly values and virtues so that peace will rest upon us on a daily basis.
Philippians 4:9 also instructs us to follow godly examples of people who model peace in their lives. The apostle Paul said, “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
Learn how to win over worry for yourself and then model it before others.
I have had many opportunities to lean upon these two passages of scripture. In May 2009, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I was fearful because my father went through the same physical problem. He had many complications so in the back of my mind I had concerns about how effective this surgery would be and the complications that could arise because of this operation.
I appreciated the prayers of family, friends and our church. However, the real peace came when these two passages became part of my life.
I can report today that I’m 100% healed and I have no complications from the surgery.
When life becomes difficult, don’t worry and choose peace! You will live a lot longer and you will enjoy life a lot more.