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Summary: We carry many burdens in our day to day lives, but the Word encourages us to cast all these worries on Christ

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Lay Your Burden Down

TCF Sermon

July 14, 2013

How can you tell when it's going to be a rotten day? Here’s a few leading rotten-day indicators:

You wake up face down on the pavement.

You see a "60 Minutes" news team waiting in your office.

Your birthday cake collapses from the weight of the candles.

You turn on the news and they're showing emergency routes out of the city.

Your car horn goes off accidentally…and remains stuck as you follow a group of Hell's Angels on the freeway.

The bird singing outside your window is a buzzard.

All signs it will probably be a lousy day. All indicators that maybe it’s time to worry about your life, or at least that day. Of course, we don’t need these kinds of things to happen for us to worry. We manage to find plenty of other things to worry about

– some legitimate concerns, some more realistically not that big of a deal.

But we worry, don’t we? It’s part and parcel of our human existence. Show me the person who says he never worries, and I’ll show you someone who’s a liar, or at least self-deceived. Yet, scripture tells us this:

1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Worry has no legitimate place in the lives of the children of God.

This is a consistent theme in many passages of scripture.

Philippians 4:6: do not be anxious about anything.

John 14:27: do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.

Ps. 37:8: do not fret.

Mt 6:25: do not worry...

Psalm 55:22 Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you;

This is a theme we see again and again in God’s Word. The Lord says to us, trust in Me, not in your ability to handle things. It’s not a suggestion, it’s a command.

I find myself asking this question: Are we as vigilant about not worrying...as we are about other things He commands us not to do? We tend to justify worry, or somehow make it more noble. That’s what God has, over the years, repeatedly convicted me of.

I’ve had seasons of life when worry has been far from me – when I’ve been able to fully trust in the Lord with all my heart. I’ve had seasons when the peace of God that passes all understanding has been very real to me, even in the midst of challenging circumstances.

But somehow, my trust leaks, and I take back the worries I’ve given to the Lord. Something will get me worrying, and it’s as if all I learned, all I’ve grown in, related to trusting God, is right out the window. I’m sure nobody else here has ever experienced anything like that.

There have been sleepless nights, days at a time of anxious thoughts, and, honestly, a lot of what I’d have to classify as worry. Now, because these sometimes weren’t about me, personally, that is, I wasn’t worrying about money or a job, or something like that, I tended to think that these worries of mine were somehow above these commands.

While I’d gain peace for a season, circumstances would worsen, and I’d begin to stew, fret and worry about these things once more. I’ve come to believe that there really is a difference between worry and concern. One preacher called it the difference between Constructive Concern, and Deconstructive Worry.

There are things about which it is legitimate to express concern....but constructive concern leads us to deeper prayer, to fuller reliance on God. Deconstructive worry, just leads to deeper worry. Deconstructive worry, unlike constructive concern, depletes our resources. It drains our energy. Deconstructive worry often includes a circular reasoning process…your worry takes you round and round on a downward spiral, which always brings you back to the same point.

here’s an example:

1. I have to pass my test tomorrow

2. If I don’t pass my test tomorrow I’ll be put on academic probation

3. If on academic probation, I could get thrown out of school

4. If I get thrown out of school, I’ll never find a good job

5. If I don’t find a good job, I’ll never be able to buy a house

6. If I can’t buy a house, how can I ever get married?

7. I have to pass my test tomorrow… and so on.

Think about it…After all our worry, we never come one inch closer toward a solution, which could help us pass the test!

Constructive concern seeks a solution… Try this: I have a test tomorrow…I better stay in and study… and I better ask God for help!

It moves you from a problem to a solution. There’s also the reality of grieving over certain circumstances, of grieving over a loved one in sin, or someone who’s ill, or someone who’s in pain, whether it be emotional or physical. Or even experiencing that pain ourselves. This, too, can be different from deconstructive worry.

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