On a church sign were the words: “Don’t let worry kill you, let the church help.”
Worry is real. Some are more prone to it than others, but none of us are above it. And honestly the church, the Christian community, don’t always help matters either. Whether it is through posts on Facebook or through other social media or through our conversations we can add to worry in others. Shouldn’t we help each other through worrisome times?
I am going to spend time looking at this deadly virus called worry this week in the Wednesdays in the Word study, but let me speak to this matter of worry for a few minutes right now.
A Swedish proverb says, “Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.”
“Worry is an interest paid in advance on a debt you may never owe.”
“To carry worry to bed is to sleep with a pack on your back.”
It has been said that “Today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday.”
If we can’t change it why are we worrying about it? But we do, don’t we? Our English word worry comes from an old German word meaning to strangle or to choke. That’s appropriate! We know how it chokes the life right out of us.
Let me pause right here to clarify one matter. Worry is not to be confused with genuine concern. As a follower of Jesus Christ plugged into a Christian community my burdens get greater not lesser. I am genuinely concerned about your walk with Christ and that you stay on track with Him. I share your concern as you wait for test results, as you work through a relational hurt, or as you go through that personal struggle.
When does that genuine concern cross the line to worry? For one thing, when I become preoccupied with all that could go wrong, or focus on all the disastrous possibilities while neglecting the fact of God’s fatherly care and control over our lives, I am well on my way to the sin of worry.
Where there is a draining of my physical, mental and spiritual energy with things that out of my control or with things that are future, or hypothetical, then undue concern and worry is getting the better part of me. What is wrong with worry is that we are trying to take the responsibility that was meant for God to handle. Where do we go with our anxieties?
Jesus goes to great lengths in Matthew 6 to give us a little perspective on worry. I will come back to this tonight on Wednesdays in the Word, but suffice it to say now, Jesus does not want you to be anxious. Towards the end of his discourse on worry he says in verse 33, “But (instead of worrying) seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be given to you as well.”
We love the second part of that verse. We like that God promises to take care of our needs. The promise in the second half of the verse can’t be ripped out of what goes before it. There is one condition to this promise of God caring for our needs- we must seek Him first. God promises to meet the needs of those committed to his kingdom and his righteousness.
If we put God’s will and God’s righteousness first in our lives, He will take care of everything else. It is safe to say that the more central His rule becomes in our lives, the less anxiety we will have. God promises that as we seek Him, then all these other things will be given to you. Jesus does not want you to be anxious.
The aim of Jesus’ kingship is to free us from anxiety. I think in the world we see many in charge who seem to facilitate worry to establish their power and control. The more anxious and fearful we are, the more we are like pawns in their game. Not so with Jesus. He doesn’t secure His kingship by keeping his subjects in a state of worry and panic. No! The more central his kingship is in our lives, the less anxious we will be.
Jesus does not want you to be anxious. So, each day, and throughout the day, seek his kingship, make him king over every situation, every thought, every event, every moment. Hand whatever is worrying you over to Him. I have to do that often. When I don’t, it sucks the life right out of me. It kills me.
I have never read an obituary that said, “He died of worry.” But perhaps some could read that way. How do we keep from worrying to death? Let Him be king over whatever that is. Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness.
Miss you and blessings to you, Pastor Brian
Book of Acts
Last Sunday’s Sermon
Wednesdays In The Word
How to worry Well
Join Pastor Brian Wednesday evenings at 7pm.
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Coming This Summer
“A Guide to Joyful Living”
Our summer sermon series in the book of Philippians
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