Summary: Overcoming worry by (1) changing your outlook - leave it to God; (2) changing your input - trust His promises.
Worry has nothing to do with today... it has to do with tomorrow.
What if tomorrow never comes? Will that have an effect on you today? Are you spending ALL OF TODAY, preparing for tomorrow? If you are using up all the time you have today, preparing for tomorrow, then aren’t you left with nothing for today? Am I truly enjoying TODAY???
Someone said, "Why worry about tomorrow? Tomorrow will never come!"
To a certain extent, this is true. Today is today, but when I wake up tomorrow, it will be today - so I will not get to have a day called tomorrow.
Studies have shown that about 40% of the things we worry about never happen; and 30% have already happened. 12% are needless health worries, 10% about petty things, and that leaves only 8% that are real concerns. Think about that! We worry 92 percent of the time for no good reason at all.
In order words, worry is a result of imaginary fears most of the time.
EXPECTING THIEF FOR 30 YEARS
A husband was awakened by his wife’s ongoing concern that she heard a burglar downstairs. One night as usual he slowly got up, went grumpily downstairs and found himself staring down the barrel of a gun. The burglar ordered him to hand over all the household valuables and then started to leave.
"Please Sir," the husband blurted out," before you go I’d like you to come upstairs and meet my wife, she’s been expecting you every night for the last thirty years."
Jesus understands our problem, that’s why in this short passage He repeated, "Do not worry." 3 times. He says in 6:34 "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Take care of today and live it well. 6:27 "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"
In order words, it’s pointless! You’re NOT IN CONTROL of anything that will come tomorrow. Only God is.
(1) CHANGE YOUR OUTLOOK
If worry is caused by either looking backward - at what WAS in the past, or forward to what MIGHT BE in the future, then we need to STOP the worry cycle by looking UPWARD - toward God.
Jesus: Don’t worry about things that are not under your control.
THE PROFESSIONAL WORRIER
Jim and Joe were talking and Jim said, ¡§My finances are in terrible shape, and I¡¦m concerned about my job security.¡¨
Joe responded, ¡§Well, I DID lose my job and my house is now in foreclosure. But I¡¦m not really worried.¡¨
Jim asked, ¡§That¡¦s terrible. So why aren¡¦t you worried?¡¨
¡§Well,¡¨ said Joe, ¡§I¡¦ve hired a Professional Worrier. He does all my worrying for me, so that way I don¡¦t have to even think about my problems.¡¨
¡§That¡¦s fantastic!¡¨ said Jim. ¡§How much does your Professional Worrier charge for his services?¡¨
¡§$50,000 a year,¡¨ said Joe.
¡§$50,000 a year? Where are you going to get that kind of money?¡¨
¡§I don¡¦t really know,¡¨ says Joe. ¡§That¡¦s his worry.¡¨
When we worry, we are assuming responsibilities we cannot handle - they are not meant for us. God never intended us to handle them, because they are His.
Do you know what you and I need to do? We need to let God be our Professional Worrier. If you think I¡¦m exaggerating, look what 1 Peter 5:7 says: ¡§Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.¡¨ If that¡¦s not an invitation to let God be your Professional Worrier, I don¡¦t know what is!
God says, ¡§I can handle your problems, but you¡¦ll have to let go of them and give them to Me.¡¨ Change your outlook. Don¡¦t look back. Don¡¦t look forward. Look UPward and give your worries to God.
The Lord says, leave it to Him. That’s why Prov 3:5-6, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."
To worry is to exclude God. It’s like working things out using your own best judgment. Chase down every possibility. When you hit a dead-end street, back out and then turn down another one. When that gets you nowhere, try a little manipulation, then some panic. Now you look back and see where you’ve been. You’ve not been to anywhere.
Someone said, ¡§Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but doesn¡¦t get you anywhere.¡¨
It uses up all your energy, but where does it get you?
Leo Buscaglia: "Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy."
Once you¡¦ve changed your Outlook, the next thing to do is
(2) CHANGE YOUR INPUT
What do you feed your mind?