Summary: The Lord wants us to pray instead of worrying. And we are supposd to lay our anxieties upon Him, and when we do, we are supposed to leave them there with Him, too.
Several years ago, I had the chance to speak to a young lady at a shelter in Phoenix, Arizona. She had no job, no place to stay, no money, and no food. But she did have a husband. He was in prison for many years to come. On top of all that, she had a liver disease that was slowly taking her life away from her.
I talked to her for a few minutes, and I asked her how she was coping. She smiled and said she was doing okay. She said God was keeping her safe. Here this woman was, in living in conditions that were sub-human, and she smiled and said she wasn’t worried.
Isn’t it amazing how some people who suffer a lot worry very little, while others, like myself who suffer a little seem to worry a lot? Could that have something to do with the depth of our faith? Does your mind ever seem to just run away with thoughts of what “could happen”? Then we look back and see all the time we spent worrying about what “could have happened” just to see that nothing did happen. You’d think that if we were as smart as we think we are, we’d learn.
Were you aware that …
1. WORRY CAUSES SICKNESS & SPIRITUAL CHAOS?
Worrying can cause heart disease, cancer, migraines, and even diabetes. The Mayo Clinic actually estimates that more than 80% of their total caseload is directly related to worry on the parts of their patients. One medical doctor said that he believes that if people could learn to stop worrying, most diseases would be cured.
John Haggai tells of a woman who worried for 40 years that she was getting stomach cancer. Every cramp had to be cancer she thought. When she was 73, she died of pneumonia. She wasted 40 years worrying about the wrong disease!
Not only does worry cause illness, it causes spiritual chaos. When we are focusing on worry, we are not focusing on God or His will for us. When we spend time in worry, we have no time to spend in prayer or Bible study. Now, ask yourself if worry is good or bad, and then ask yourself who gives it to you.
Worrying not only affects the way we treat God, but it also affects the way we treat other people. We become short and terse, furrowed brow and downturned mouths. It is evident when talking to somebody that our minds are not focused on them or their conversation, but on something troublesome: Our worries.
Some might do more or less than others, but we all worry, don’t we? What does the Bible say about that? The Bible says …
2. DON’T WORRY!
Let’s read what Jesus said.
‘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 important than food, and the body more important than clothes?’
‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.’
Worry is kind of like a rocking chair. It is something we can do, but it never gets us anywhere. We spend so much of our time worrying, we forget that Christians have nothing to worry about! We need to remember to just pray, and then let God do any necessary worrying. That way we can concentrate more on being good Christians.
Let’s imagine what was said between Abraham and God.
“ABRAHAM, THIS IS GOD. I WANT YOU TO LEAVE EVERYTHING AND GO TO THE LAND I WILL SHOW YOU.”
“Where’s that?” Abraham said.
“IF I TOLD YOU, YOU WOULDN’T BELIEVE ME.”
Abraham said, “Try me, God.”
“IT’S 1500 MILES FROM HERE IN A PLACE CALLED CANAAN.”
“Never heard of it.”
“I TOLD YOU SO, BUT GUESS WHAT ELSE?”
“What?” questioned Abraham.
“I’M GOING TO MAKE YOU THE FATHER OF A GREAT NATION.”
“That’s impossible. I don’t have any children.”
“DON’T WORRY, TRUST ME.”
“Let me see if I’ve got this straight. You want me to leave everything I have, travel across the desert to someplace I’ve never heard of, and become the father of a great nation. Is this some kind of joke? What am I supposed to tell my wife?”
And God said, “THAT’S YOUR PROBLEM.”
In reality, HEBREWS 11:8 says that in faith, Abraham obeyed and went. Abraham trusted God to give him all he needed, so he didn’t worry. Worry is something that the devil gave us.
So, if worrying causes so many problems, and we are not supposed to worry, how can we keep from worrying? Here is how you can ..
3. WORRY LESS AND LIVE MORE
Let me re-read PHILIPPIANS 4:6, but this time I want to add verse 7.