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∑ Whether you know worry as an occasional visitor or a constant companion,
∑ whether you find it to be mildly uncomfortable or intensely painful,
∑ or whether you experience worry as a slight distraction or as a force that completely immobilizes you,
∑ we all would like to worry less (except for those only seem happy when theyíre miserable).
The good news is that you can worry less. God has given us an antidote. It may surprise you to learn that God has something to say about worry. In His book, filled with cosmic events like the creation of the universe, heaven and hell, the rise and fall of kingdoms, and the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, He also considers it important to give us some help with this very ordinary human emotion. Why is that? Because Heís not just a God out there somewhere. Heís a God here, with us.
Why do we worry?
1. Life is hard. Bad things happen to good people, to bad people, and everyone in between.
Even the wealthy and powerful arenít exempt. All you have to do is glance at the National Enquirer to see that they have their share of tragedy. [Example: Cleveland Browns linebacker Chris Spielman retiring due to a neck injury]
Now, so far this seems pretty depressing. But before we get to the really good news, we have to face the bad news. I live in a real world, and I want a religion that deals with reality. Donít you? I donít want a religion that plays, "letís pretend." I want a faith that can stand up to whatever the world has to give, and still come out on top.
You may be saying, "Of course, life is hard. I already know that." But isnít it amazing how often people try to avoid worry by pretending, by putting on blinders, by avoiding the issue, by refusing to acknowledge the possibility of anything going wrong. Itís like the song, "Donít worry, be happy."
∑ We men are especially good at this. Our wives try to talk with us about something thatís obviously bothering us, and we say, "I donít want to talk about it." Somehow, we think that if we donít think about it, it wonít happen. Men donít go to doctors. What we donít know canít hurt us.
∑ How many of you, when you are dealing with some serious problem, have had someone say, "donít worry, Iím sure everything will work out."
∑ Or we become fatalistic. "What will happen, will happen. Why worry about it?"
Of course, it doesnít work, does it? All this does is transfer the worry from your mind to your gut. And if the worst does come to pass, then youíre completely unprepared. What we need is something that will allow us to face reality, but without becoming consumed by anxiety and worry.
2. Second, the future is uncertain. Another obvious statement, but we worry because we donít know what the future holds. Not only are there dangers we know about and can make some preparation for, but there are dangers which are completely unexpected. [Example: The most common sign of heart disease is sudden death.]
We can prepare as best we know how. We can watch our diets and exercise to prevent heart attack. We can stockpile food and water to prepare for Y2K. But the bottom line is that the future is unknowable. Oh we try. But as your doctor will tell you, and
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