Do Not Worry by Pastor Don
I love it when there is a God Stop – as Beth Moore calls it in my life. Savoring The Observable Presence of God. On Friday driving to church for Bible study a bunch of worries came up in my mind and I was banishing them, telling myself that God had not given me a spirit of fear. I proceeded to hand them over to God, and tell myself I was not going to be sidetracked by worry. I get to Bible study and Pastor Don, who had already prepared a handout in preparation for teaching us stuff from Revelation, told us first he was going to deal with something that came up in his spirit, something he had just talked with our church secretary about – WORRY. Well, the whole Bible study was on this. Not only did God help me with my worries, but it pleases me no end to know my pastor is willing to give up his planned study to go where God leads him to teach. I am so very, very blessed!
Pastor Don said in this day and age the number of things to be concerned about has multiplied. There is so much turmoil, gang violence (even in our neck of the woods), depression of the dollar, the removal of our power as a nation, the increase in natural disasters, and a general spirit of lawlessness. It is increasingly hard for families to survive on one income, and Middle America does not exist anymore. We can see evidence at the gas pump of how our economy is faring. The devil is waging an onslaught against family and marriage. Commitment does not have the same meaning as it had, for now people are committed as long as it pleases them, it is not for life. What does Jesus say about worry?
Matthew 6:25-34 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble”
Pastor Don told us Jesus is the one who tells us not to worry- we have to assume that Jesus will not ask us to do something we cannot do. So many give an excuse for worrying like, “I can’t help it.” or “It’s just the way I am.” God, Jesus, the Father of Life will not tell us to do something we really can’t do. We can assume that if God has told us to do something, it is something that He created us to be able to do. With a mandate from God to not worry, we can assume it is possible not to worry.
Don’t believe our excuses, obey the command of the Lord.
How do we not worry?
Pastor Don said this teaching might sound harsh to us. But in reality, so often the things we pick to worry about are insignificant to some of the real concerns of people around us. One of our members is in the hospital facing another brain operation for an aneurism, and has been given 48 hours to see if there is a chance for recovery. When we compare ourselves to a situation like that, are our worries as big? If we look we will find there are people who have far worse situations than we have, and also people who are worried about things that seem far less troublesome than our concerns. We need to begin to formulate a wider perspective. When we do, we will be better able to deal with our stress.
Verse 25 includes all the things that we can be concerned about with our life, what we will eat, drink, put on. Jesus assured us the birds of the air did not plant, reap, or sow, but God took care of them. The birds did not have an IRA account. Pastor Don is not saying that we don’t work, plan for the future, or prepare, but we have to trust God will take care of us and not get stressed out. God is not wanting us to lose sleep, bite our nails, or make emotionally charged contingency plans for things that worry us.
We are all guilty of worry. That being said, God is not saying to not be concerned or plan, just don’t be worried. Worrying won’t change a thing. The only way change will come is if we do something about what we are worrying about.
Verse 28 does not apply so much to us here in this country, for everyone has access to clothes – even if it is Good Will or a shelter’s handing out of clothes. But in Jesus’ time people did not have a ton of clothes in their closets, just a few outfits. Pastor Don told us in third world countries there are people where this is a real concern. He talked about India where people would come to church in their one good outfit.
Pastor Don also told us, if we would just apply a little faith to what we are worried about, we wouldn’t need to worry. We need faith to believe, and faith is applicable when we are struggling with things we don’t believe will happen. Have faith for a good marriage when your marriage is tested. Have faith God will provide when your income says otherwise.
Notice in Verse 31 it says, “Do not worry SAYING”. The problem is, at times we think of the things we are worrying about, and then end up speaking what we are worried about. The key is to not SAY what you are worrying about, to not SPEAK it into existence. What you say gives life to what you are saying. It makes the worry more real for you. Puts you behind the eight ball. It is okay to be worried, for we do deal in realities, but we have to stop and be constructive in how we speak about our worry. Don’t go on and on and on and on about the problem. Speak the solution.
Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Not only does faith come by hearing, but so does doubt and unbelief. The difference is we excuse the negative. We validate as real only one aspect of reality, what we can see. We need to realize there is a reality that is far greater than what we can perceive with our senses. Everything God made was made from the unseen – He caused the unseen to become seen. So what we see is not greater than what we don’t see. If we permit unabated whining we would all be in bad shape. After you state what is going on in your life, if you keep complaining then you are whining. State the reality, but then watch what you speak after that. State the reality then add, BUT GOD….
We are creatures of habit, we have bad habits. When you say something over and over you multiply your worry. Most people who worry don’t realize they are worrying. They do not stop and ask themselves what they are feeling and saying. They just do it. They put themselves in torment month after month, not discerning they are doing so, they are just in automatic worry mode.
Sometimes we just do not discern who we are, we are just in park or neutral. We say to ourselves things that put us into a stressful situation. Eventually we get used to that stressful situation and think it is normal. Sort of like putting a frog into cool water and turning the heat on – the frog will not discern the gradual increase of temperature until it is too late.
Every decision you make has pressure. It impacts your life in many areas. If you perceive yourself being stuck in circumstances, trust the people close to you to give you input. Ask them, “am I worried?” “am I blowing this out of proportion?” Get out of denial. There is nothing wrong with admitting you are under worry or stress, just don’t do anything terminal. Do an evaluation, find out what category your worry or stress is. Is it fifth stage cancer or what am I going to wear to a function? Get your problem into perspective.
When King David lost a child, beforehand he mourned, fasted, prayed, cried. After the child died, he knew he couldn’t bring his child to life, so he left his mourning clothes sure in the knowledge that he would go to the child in the future, but he had to pick up and deal with other problems.
Sometimes worry is a way of focusing attention to yourself, a prideful thing, or selfishness. If you want attention, you talk about what is worrying you. Pride implies that what you are going through no one else can understand or handle.
We get fearful when life seems to be overpowering us, and we get afraid, thinking much talk will solve the problems. Sometimes we can get constructive help talking with others, other times the responses serve to dig us deeper into the problem. Pride can also keep us from getting help when we really need help. But if we seek someone to help us, we have to discern who we are asking to help us. Are they at a point where they can help us?
We also need to ask ourselves, how much will this problem matter 100 years from now. Pastor Don calls this REDUCTION – reducing our problems to their proper level. 1 Peter tells us to cast our cares upon the Lord, for He cares about us.
We need to look at our situation through the eyes of the Father. What can faith say about this problem? What are my possibilities? Come up with plans and solutions. Never plan to stay exactly where you are. A bad prayer would be to ask God to help you have the strength to stay where you are. Pray for change, your change, the people around you to change, your circumstances to change. Throw the problem on Jesus and ask Him to help you solve it.
Once you cast your care upon the Lord, don’t reel it back in, throw it over and leave it. If it comes back to you, cast it further away to the Lord. Keep throwing it until it doesn’t come back.
James 4:7-8 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Blessed be the Lord who daily bears our burdens.
Hoping your day is blessed.
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