by Pastor Tim Burt
Do you ever have days where you feel anxious? Do you ever find yourself worrying—maybe even terrified over the circumstances that try to hang over your life like a cloudy sky that never clears? I know that I’ve gone through seasons of life where I have felt this way and found it difficult to keep my mind out of the worry zone.
Maybe you know that the Bible tells us that worrying accomplishes nothing positive. Luke 12:25-26 says, “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” Of course not! And if worry can’t do little things like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things? ”The truth is worrying only steals from us. It steals sleep. It distracts us from the leading of the Holy Spirit and attempts to diminish God’s promises into meaningless words. Anxiety can cause stress that manifests itself in multiple symptoms of sickness. It will lead to discouragement and could take you all the way to depression or worse. It can cause you to want to isolate yourself and tune out from people and life. That can lead to a lack of interaction with other Christians who would otherwise be a source of godly encouragement, who remind you of God’s love and care that we all desperately need. Bottom line: worrying is the pits no matter what it is you are worrying about.
Worrying is often about something that you are afraid of losing or trying to hold on to. That could be relationships, a job, or a diversity of things.
Do you remember the story in Exodus, when the Lord led the Israelites out of the most horrible circumstances under Pharaoh’s repression? The Lord took them out of a miserable place and miraculously led them by fire and a cloud. He split the Red Sea so the Israelites could walk through it, but closed it on Pharaoh’s army so they could never attack them again. He rained down supernatural angel food—manna from Heaven. He caused water to flow from a rock because they were in a dry desert. Their clothes and footwear supernaturally did not wear out the entire time they were in the desert—40 years! God continuously provided for them. And their worries created inner turmoil and frenzy, but God was all about leading them step by step.
Generations later, it happened again. They had only survived as a nation and people because of God, and yet once again they had forgotten God. They no longer prayed in sincere faith and trust for help. Instead, they returned to their old ways of worrying and grumbling—a sign their prayers contained no faith and trust. They tried anything and everything to fix their own problems with no success. Instead, they drifted from the God who had loved them so dearly to begin with.
Through the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord rebuked the children of Israel for letting worry steal their relationship with Him. Through Jeremiah, the Lord said, “This is what the Lord says: “What sin did your ancestors find in me that led them to stray so far? They worshiped foolish idols, only to become foolish themselves. They did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord who brought us safely out of Egypt and led us through the barren wilderness—a land of deserts and pits, of drought and death, where no one lives or even travels?’ “And when I brought you into a fruitful land to enjoy its bounty and goodness, you defiled my land and corrupted the inheritance I had promised you. The priests did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord?’ The judges ignored me, the rulers turned against me, and the prophets spoke in the name of Baal, wasting their time on nonsense.” Jeremiah 2:5-8 (NLT)
I woke up very early this morning suddenly feeling anxious about a situation in my life. My mind was overly active and I could not return to sleep. I thought about these scriptures. I awoke, got on my knees, and began to worship the Lord and pray. I told the Lord, I am not going to let cares and worries drive me to this place. I rebuke this worry in Jesus’ name. It is not from you Lord and I repent. You love me. You care for me. You are the one that helps and protects me. With thanksgiving, I prayed verses from this chapter expressing my thanks for taking my life from the pit of worry and leading me to a good place in Him. I prayed, Lord, I had nothing. Everything I have and every good thing in my life is because of you. I refuse to dishonor you now by worrying. I will draw near in worship to you—the one who loves and cares for me, in Jesus’ name.
Within minutes, my heart returned to my hope in God. The anxiety I felt was crushed like a bug. God’s promises resounded loudly in my heart and I was refreshed remembering that God has helped me again and again. He is always there! My faith was strengthened and my day launched with joy! If anxiety or fear has attacked you, crush it through the promises of God’s word and let your trust in God soar and the peace of God fill your heart!
Philip. 4:6 (NIV) “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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