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Summary: This message looks at worry as a battle and shares examples of how to use Scripture as a weapon to defeat worry.

EFFECTIVE? Worry is activity without advancement.

- Matthew 6:27.

- Worry comes naturally to most people. It’s a natural, although sinful, response to many of the problems that we encounter in life.

- One of the difficulties with worry is that worry makes us feel like we’re doing something when we are actually doing nothing productive.

- Many mothers, for instance, feel guilty if they’re not worrying about their children. This is, in their minds, part of their job description as moms. The painful truth, though, is that worry almost never solves anything.

- Worry is activity (you’re doing something) without advancement (you’re not making anything happen).

- Advancement is what we want. We want to get closer to solving the problem.

- In some situations, we may have the ability and resources to solve the problem. In most situations, we don’t – but we do have within our power the ability to advance the situation toward an answer. This may involve people we can talk to, things we can do, or work we can do. If there is nothing else that we can do, there is always the opportunity to pray fervently about the situation.

- Any and all of those things advance our cause. Worry does not. Worry is like spinning our tires.

- Jesus made this point in Matthew 6. He asked who can add an hour to his life by worrying. What does that mean? He means: even though there are 876,582 hours in a hundred years, you can’t even add one hour to that total by worrying. That’s how embarrassingly ineffective worry is.

- In fact, we all know that, if anything, worry is likely to significantly reduce your life through stress-related problems.

- So for starters this morning you’ve got to get out of your head that worry means that you’re really doing something. You’re not. It’s ineffective.

A DIFFERENT WORRY THOUGHT: View your worry as an invitation to battle.

- With the ineffectiveness of worry in mind, let’s consider a change in approach.

- The worry that we feel almost always represents a life problem. We need to accept the fact that life is a spiritual battle. Life is a battleground, not a playground.

- As a result of that, it should not surprise us that we have problems. It should not surprise us that we have things that it would be easy to worry about.

- I want to propose that you begin to look at your worry in a different way. When you see the problem that is tempting you to worry, look at it as an invitation to battle.

- Examples:

1. “My son is walking down the wrong path. I am going to be strong as a father as I talk to him and in what I expect from him. I’m going to be bold in prayer asking God to move in his life. And I’m going to continue to live out my life as a devoted follower of Christ.”

2. “The company is talking about layoffs. I’m tempted to worry about my finances. Instead, I’m going to stand by faith that God will provide just as He promised in Matthew 6:33. I’m going to be a witness to my co-workers that in the uncertainty I have a solid Rock on which to stand. And I’m going to continue to be a hard worker even as co-workers are goofing off because they’re bitter at the company.”

3. “These test results aren’t what I was hoping for. As I wait for the additional tests, I’m going to ask for healing and I’m going to trust that no matter which way this situation goes, I can’t be outside of the hand of God. If He heals me, I’ll serve Him in this life; if I die, I will remain in Him through Christ’s death and resurrection. My hope is in Christ either way. And I know that either way He will provide everything that is needed for me and those I love.”

- Two clarifications:

a. Are you a worrier or a warrior?

- We are not meant to be the victims. “Oh, woe is me, things are going so bad and all I can do is sit here and worry.” No – we are meant to be warriors.

- When we worry we are opting out of the battle. We are wringing our hands, not grabbing our sword with our hands. We are standing still, not moving forward.

- If you are a worrier, that’s a strong sign that you are not a warrior.

- Instead, we need to use our worry as an open door to stand up and move into the battle. You’ve got a problem, a burden, a difficulty – invite God into it and fight alongside Him.

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