Summary: Summary of four ways Christians can stop worry.

How Christians can STOP Worry

Opening Prayer

Scripture from Matthew 6:25-33

"So 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? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

So do not worry, saying ’what shall we eat?’ or ’What shall we drink?’ or ’What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given."

Message: My message today is about how Christians can STOP worry.

In the scripture I read Jesus is telling us that we should not worry about the needs that God promises to supply. He tells us that worry won’t add even one hour to our life. He says that worry can show a lack of faith in God. When he tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, he means for us to turn first to God for help. Jesus wanted us to know that the same God who created us can be trusted with the details of our life. (Great is Thy faithfulness, as the song says). God wants us to use our energy concentrating on him rather than on worry (1).

Worry has become common in the lives of Christians these days. But for us to live the abundant life God desires us to live we must be joyful. It is important for us to learn to prevent worry from controlling our lives.

What is worry? It is a feeling of uneasiness about an uncertain or threatening future event or a past event. Some feelings of worry are normal. Worry becomes a problem when it interferes with our normal functioning, like our ability to sleep, eat properly, take care of our grooming, and having a normal social life and being interested in the events and activities around us. If prolonged, worry can lead to psychological problems, physical ailments, and loss of spirituality (2).

We live in a complex world today. There are many social problems that cause us stress and worry, like economic problems, war, crime, lack of health insurance coverage, and chronic disease. Also, as we age, and all of us do eventually, we frequently encounter many losses that cause us worry. Loss of loved ones; loss of health; and giving up belongings, independence, and life as we lived it when we were younger. So we have to be deliberate about controlling worry in our life.

I am not saying you can eliminate worry, but you can control it. It is normal to feel some worry or concern, and that can move us to action. But prolonged worry immobilizes us. And let me tell you, bravery is not the absence of worry; it is having worry but continuing on with our lives despite it.

I am going to talk with you about four steps your can take to reduce worry in your life, if this is a problem for you:

If you want to remember these, remember the word STOP - (The first letter of the first word in each step spells STOP)

 Share your problems with another person

 Take time to relax with mediation and music

 Open your heart to God’s presence in your life

 Put limits on the worry

Let me go over these four things you can do:

First point: S - Share your problems with someone else (2). There is something very healing about getting our worries out, whether through

 Prayer with God

 Talking face-to-face with someone

 Writing a letter; or

 Talking on the phone with a friend or loved one.

Worry loses it’s power over you when you express it to the right person, when you get it outside of you and examine it, because then you can let it go. Unpleasant feelings are just as normal as pleasant ones, but you have to process them or they get bottled up and drag you down. This healing that occurs with sharing your problems is demonstrated when people go to counselors and heal from terrible trauma. Talking things out is good for your health. Example: Have you found yourself thinking as you have gotten older that you should be able to just get over difficult feelings, and that you shouldn’t have to need to talk to someone about them? The truth is, we all need people in our life. No matter how old we get, there is still that spirit inside that longs to be heard and understood. And sometimes that is all we need to get over worry. So share your problems with another person.

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