Worry has been defined as “a small trickle of fear that meanders through the mind until it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.” (anonymous)
“You can’t change it, so why worry.” “Worrying about it before it even happens will make it happen.” “Worrying only makes it worse.” For most of us, no number of platitudes can stop the tide of discouragement, frustration and stress that worry washes over us. The negative effects of stress are well documented, with solid medical and scientific evidence – emotional, mental, and even physical problems: is that really the start of a cold, or have you been fretting the late completion of your income tax papers from last year?
The Bible cautions about worry’s negative effects: anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up [Proverbs 12:25]. A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones [Proverbs 17:22 ]. Seriously, why do we put ourselves through this stress? It’s not pleasant, it’s not joyful, it’s not constructive. Do we really like feeling overwhelmed, depressed, often frozen with indecision? Wouldn’t it be great if there was someone to take this burden off us? Oh, wait! … there is! Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand [Isaiah 41:10]. Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you [1 Peter 5:7]. Whenever you feel unloved, unimportant, or insecure, remember to whom you belong [Ephesians 2:19-22]. We become anxious because we can’t see the outcome, but God can [Psalm 94:19]. We grow tired and weary, but God has unlimited physical resources and strength [Isaiah 40:30-31]. Most importantly, worry is not honouring God, who instructs His children to be strong and fear not [Isaiah 35:4], and to be strong and courageous ‘in Him’ [Joshua 1:9]. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best is a good rule of thumb. (Contribution Mary Fedchyck)
Trying to stay aware of current events has its downside because bad news sells better than good news. It’s easy to become overly concerned about major crime, nation’s economy and corruption in governments over which we have little control. Here is some good advice from Psalm 97:1 “Do not fret because of those who are evil”. A better way of thinking about negatives in our world is to take stock what personal prayer and faith can do when God is at the controls. Instead of worry trust the Lord, and rather than give in to fretting over matters beyond our control, pray about it and commit it to the Lord even if we have to wait patiently on Him, which is far better than spending countless hours and energy cycling our worries in our mind over and over again.
Jesus Christ is our source of both praise and petition in the worst and best of times. You will never wear out your welcome no matter the number of time that you go to Him. He is there for His people. But at the risk of sounding contradictory, those of you who do not know Jesus as your Savior you do have something to be very concerned about. Your soul is in peril without Christ Saving Work. Christ came on earth to claim sinners for Himself, to redeem them to God, and give His life for each of them. All in need to confess our sins to Him and repent of them. Christ saves you on the bases of His own intercessory work on our behalf. He meets God’s righteous demands by giving His life for us and paying the price Himself on Calvary to meet sin’s payment. Think about the fact that God in the flesh died to satisfy Himself where the sin’s debt has been paid in full with His own blood.
Struggles and trials will always be with us. Either God removes the difficulty or we are made able to bear up under it. Wisdom sees obstacles as an opportunity to trust God and grow our faith! Look to Christ and be saved from your sins and may the peace of God be with you always.