HEART DISEASES AND CURES (Part 3: Overcoming Ungodly Worry)
Many believe that life cannot be lived without worry and concern. Our generation calls itself the “Age of Anxiety.” It would appear that Martha has many brothers and sisters in our day who are “careful and troubled about many things” (Luke 10:4). People worry and stress about jobs, family, money, possessions, loss, or sometimes all of the aforementioned. Pessimism remains the disease of the age, and it manifests in many forms. People worry about things that have already happened, or over things that will inevitably happen, or over things that will never happen. God describes worry and anxiety in many ways throughout the Bible.
The sacred words of the Lord provide the proper mind toward the distractions in the world that creates worry. Anxiety is unnecessary. “…your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things” (Matt. 6:32b). Christians follow an omniscient heavenly Father who understands and is sensitive to their every need. Why worry? Is it that Christians deep down in their heart believe God will not take care of them? Worry is cruel. “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they” (vs. 26)? The idea that God would take care of the lilies of the field and birds of the air but not take care of His children is ridiculous, considering all that He has done (John 3:16; Matt. 7:11). The thought that God would help all His creatures except the one made in His own image and could understand the implications is cruel and harsh!
Furthermore, stress is futile. “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature” (vs. 27)? Stress is like a rocking chair; it will give you something to do but it will take you nowhere! Some argue that worry and anxiety moves people to stay alert and on task, nature’s anti-procrastination cure. However, even in the case where the worst comes to pass, God will still take care of His people and kingdom. A person can be responsible and dependable without being burdened in stress.
Finally, such nervous concern is faithlessness. “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith” (vs. 30)? If one observes and studies all the four cases Christ uses the phrase, “O ye of little faith,” one will realize vain human imagining and reasoning produces doubt, doubt produces fear and distrust, which in turn creates anxiety. Faith is the remedy for all these heart disturbers (John 14:1).
How might a person overcome worry?
First and foremost, a person must be obedient to the gospel, give themselves as a living sacrifice unto the Lord (Rom. 12:1,2). Obedience through faith, repentance, confession, and being baptized (Mark 16:16; Romans 10:9, Acts 2:38; 17:30). There only one true concern a person should have, which is the condition of his/her soul! In this obedience one finds the meaning and purpose of life, as Solomon reveals, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Eccl. 12:13). Remembering godly priorities help people stress less.
After making one’s calling and election sure (2 Peter1:10), one may see the distractions and concerns for earthly ideas and things to be less overwhelming because one understands what is truly important in life has been saved and preserved for God. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33). As for earthly situations of distress, do what is possible at the time and turn the rest over to God; take it to the Lord in prayer (Phil. 4:6,7). Live one day at a time (Matt. 6:34; Deut. 33:25). Keep one’s mind on what is important in life and the peace of God will overtake the worry (Phil. 4:8,9).
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