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Lake Robinson Baptist Church

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Worry

Thought of the Week – Worry

Worry has been defined as “ to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts; fret.” “To torment with cares and anxiety.”

Notice the word “torment” in the definition. Torment means to afflict with suffering. The rich man in Luke 16 described hell as a place of torment. Worry is a self-inflicted punishment or “hell” if you will. It is a place not only of emotional and physical suffering but often leaves its occupants without hope and believing there is no escape.

We realize that worry is a natural reaction of man to the circumstances in one’s life. Worry is the human reaction to what is beyond our control. The supernatural response to those things beyond our control is faith.

In Matthew 6:25 we are told to take no thought for our lives; that is the necessities of life. Jesus goes on to ask if any of us can add to our stature by taking thought of it. It appears that worry manifests itself in our thought life. We are led to believe that we have no say over our thought life. The quote “I can’t keep the birds from flying overhead but I can keep them from making a nest on my head” has been attributed to Martin Luther. We can’t keep the fiery darts of worry from going through our minds but we do not have to dwell on them.

Fortunately, Ephesians 4 tells us a lot about worry.

1. It takes right kind of praying to overcome worry Php 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Php 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Notice that the text says to be careful for nothing. That is the same Greek word translated as taking thought in Matthew 6. Instead of worrying we are to be praying. This serious praying should be mingled with thanksgiving. We should never be blind to current blessings because of current problems. This prayer is “giving it to God” or letting go of our worries. We often confuse worry with love. Somehow we tell ourselves that if we are not tormenting ourselves with worry then we don’t really care about a situation. But, it is only through letting go that the peace of God can keep our hearts and minds. We can’t hold on to our worries and have peace at the same time. Jesus encourages us to cast all our care upon Him.

2. It takes the right kind of thinking to overcome worry Php 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

We have to choose which thoughts nest in our minds. We must direct our thoughts on positive things. First of all, positive things are spiritual things. Many have found comfort in memorizing scripture, meditating on the things of God, and counting their blessings. But, secondly, focusing on positive things is looking for the positive in bad situations. Joseph’s response to his brothers was that they meant their treatment of him as evil but God meant it for God. Paul’s thinking regarding false preachers who preached Christ in order to add to his bonds was to rejoice that Christ was preached. We must look for the silver lining, we must look for the good, we must look for the hand of God in our circumstances. Positive thinking does not make our problems go away but it can effect how we deal with our problems.

3. It takes the right kind of living to overcome worry Php 4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

Notice that the right prayer gives us the peace of God but the right kind of living gives us the God of peace. We cannot be filled with the Spirit as long as we aren’t doing what we know is right. Not living right will never render peace.

Pr 28:1 ¶ The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion. Having unconfessed and unforsaken sin in our lives brings shame, paranoia, and worry. There is help for the worried mind!

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