May 2017 Blog
Category : Blog
Contrary to what some people might think, missionaries are not immune to something in life that can really cripple our relationship with the Lord. It’s called worry.
When we read Paul’s letter to the Philippians (4:6-7) about not being anxious or worried about ANYTHING, the typical knee-jerk reaction is to say: “That’s pretty impractical and not even very helpful because life is full of unexpected twists and turns that…well….cause us to worry.”
Satan will leverage our worry so that our focus is on ourselves, rather than what God wants us to do & the ministry He wants us to have in the lives of other people. If he can get us to focus on our problems & our issues, we won’t even see the people around us who are hurting.
Here’s what we know from scripture — If you don’t have peace (which is the opposite of stress), you’re not spending enough time talking to the father AND you’re not being thankful enough. Isn’t that was verse 6 says? “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” The bottom line: gratitude changes the attitude.
When you’re stressed out, it’s almost certain that you’re concentrating on what you don’t have rather than what you’ve already received. I know the pushback on this is: “Yes, but you’re not walking in my shoes.” Nope, and I really don’t have to in order to understand that what keeps us from being thankful is NOT looking at God’s track record. We only look at the problem in front of us rather than seeing how God has provided in the past.
God uses Paul to give us some simple remedies for worry. After all, isn’t that what we want? Less stress and more confidence in the God we serve? I mean really, who wants to go to a seminar that will teach you how to increase your worry potential? Or who wants to go to bed thinking: “I need to get up at 3 a.m. so I can spend more time worrying before I head out the door to work.”
We didn’t like it when our parents controlled us, and we don’t like it much when God controls us. The amount of control we have over our life isn’t enough to protect us from any and all danger. Matter of fact, any control we think we have is an illusion. There’s only 1 person who has control of everything – God. And if you think you have control of ANYTHING, you’re kidding yourself.
Worry seems like a normal response to the challenges of life. Everyone you know stresses out about something, even your Christian friends. But worry just destroys us. Psalm 12:25 – “Heaviness (anxiousness) in the heart of man makes it stoop: but a good word makes it glad.”
God has a better plan.
1. Decide worrying is a waste of time. Get it through your head that there is nothing good that’s being accomplished when you worry. Jesus asks an important question that many of us fail to answer? Matthew 6:27
Jesus says: Exactly what does it profit you? Does it make you more alert? Does it make you grow taller? Stand more erect? Does it correct your posture? Does it lengthen your life? What benefit is there when we worry? NONE. So…if it’s not beneficial (and even detrimental) to us, why in the world would you want to do it?
2. Worry denies God’s care. Decide God cares about you.
We trust Him with our eternal destiny, but why can’t we believe that He cares about what’s going on in our lives right NOW? Why can’t I trust him for today? Tomorrow? Next year? With our finances? With our marriage? With our children? And our children’s choices that we’re going to oppose !!
We need to bridge that connection. If we trust Him for where we’ll spend eternity, we should know that He cares about what’s going on right now.
Read Matthew 6:26-32
Does Jesus mean that people should not provide for their households? No, the balance is to be diligent at our work, but not assume responsibilities God never intended for us to handle — that’s worry.
When we forget God’s promise to provide, we become like spiritual amnesiacs who remember only the most basic questions in life: “What will I eat?” “What will I drink?” and “What will I wear?” Worry erases the promises of God from your mind.
— read vs 26 again. Worry makes your forget your worth. He died for us, that’s how much He loves us. Worry makes us doubt how much He really cares for us.
3. Worry is characteristic of unbelievers, not Christians – Vs 32
Read that verse again. The “Gentiles”, the people who DON’T know God, seek after all those things.
Every day non-Christians face a gauntlet of worries, just like we do, but the sad part is that they must do it alone. As long as they have no heavenly father to serve, they will be stuck in servitude to worry. We have something (someone) they don’t.
One last one:
4. Decide to obsess on God
Write this down: We WILL obsess on SOMETHING. We choose what we obsess on. So go ahead and obsess on God.
Matter of fact, let worry DRIVE you to prayer. Let it be the trigger to make you spend time with God.
We worry less when we fill our minds with Him. How does that work? He gives you peace! Philippians 4:7
Allow God to guard your heart. When God guards your heart you have peace.
Let’s face it, you’re going to be obsessed about something, it might as well be God and not your worries.