Summary: How to stop worry and learn to trust in Jesus
PEACE OR PIECES OF MIND?
What price would you pay for peace of mind? What price would you attach to being free from worry? Today we are in the grip of an epidemic of worry. Today we are living in a world where planes crash into sky scrapers, terrorists capture missionaries and hold them for ransom.
Judges are assassinated.
Police are ambushed,
Children are molested and kidnaped,
Drugs are sold on school property,
Christians attack Protestants. Muslims attack Jews.
No wonder our anxiety and stress levels is high. No wonder the mental health clinics are seeing their patient loads reach staggering proportions. And now we are close to tax time and additional worries abound.
How much taxes do I need to pay?
Am I going to have enough money for the mortgage? ,
Car payment and insurance,
The telephone bill
The medical bills?
And if these worries are not enough, many people also worry about their appearance, clothing, hair do, shoes, etc.? I do believe that many of us are worrying ourselves to death!
Worry, worry, worry! How many Christians lose their joy and peace because of worry! What is worry? Worry comes from the Anglo-Saxon word that means ?to strangle.? I think we can all agree that worry does strangle people physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Worry comes when the thoughts in our mind and feelings in our heart pull in different directions and ?tear us apart.? Our mind may tell us not to worry, but our heart suggests differently. This creates a vicious cycle that wrecks our emotional well-being.
Turn with me to Philippians 4: 6, 7: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
We need peace in our lives. We need to stop worrying. We need to take a break from the daily grind of living, and just relax! We need to realize that there are some things that we can do nothing about. Some things are simply beyond our control. If we spend time worrying about them, we will waste a lot of energy because we cannot and will not change them. Not only that, it robs us of the time and our ability to deal with those things that we can change.
What does the Bible tell us about worry? Turn with me to Matthew 6:25: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?
Jesus has the solution here for our lives. Simply stated, He tells us we must learn to accept who and what we are. We must learn to be content with what we have. As the old proverb goes:
We should pray for the courage to change what we can,
the patience to accept what we cannot change,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Jesus also points out that some things are more important than others. There are some things that are not worth the sweat and toil we give them. Shakespeare had a nice little saying concerning the excess toil we put into things we cannot change, ?Much ado about nothing.?
Jesus is not advocating a shiftless, thriftless, reckless, thoughtless, improvident attitude to life: what he is stating is that He forbids us to wallow in a careworn, worried fear, which takes all the joy out of life.
Christ?s ?therefore? suggests that now He is going to apply this principle to our lives. He shows that worrying about material things is foolish because it accomplishes nothing. He reminds us to have our values straight. Life consists far more than food and clothing. Jesus was poor, yet how happy and peaceful He was! Paul said he was ?poor, yet making many rich.? (2 Cor. 6:10)
Christ points to God?s care of nature - the flowers, grass, and birds. He also states that ?you are of more value than they.? Since we are of more value than the flora and fauna, it certainly is true that God will take extremely good care of us. The heavenly Father knows our needs, and if we put Him first, He will meet every need.
Jesus sets out some arguments and defenses against worry:
1. Since God gave us life than surely we can trust Him for the lesser things such as food to sustain us and clothing to keep us warm.
2. Pointing to the birds, Christ notes that they do not worry, nor do they waste their time in gathering material possessions for the unseeable future. What is more important, despite the fact that they do not toil in securing their needs, their lives do not stop but continue. One never sees deer, antelope, or elk worrying about the need to dry fruit for the winter, yet all remain healthy and vibrant. What Jesus is trying to point out is not that the animals do not work. It is that they do not worry.