February 16 – The Bankruptcy of Worry

“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” – Matthew 6:27 (ESV)

“Don’t worry about it!” “I’m not worried, just anxious.” It seems we’re in for the worst of times and the best of times are gone forever. We know this isn’t true for we believe and trust Jesus for all outcomes. He promises we’ll have all we need. To worry is like withdrawing money from a bankrupt account⸺we get nothing. Worry, anxiety are the same. We really can’t get away with “we’re only anxious, not really worried.” Honesty will bring out the truth that anxiety is a cloak word. We might sometimes use “care” when we’re really anxious for something to happen or be over with. “When I ‘care’ over some concern” Or “When I’m eager for my child’s safe arrival home might I also worry?” We might say ‘I care’ when we mean ‘I have some worry’. The Greek uses the same word for ‘care’, ‘worry’, and ‘anxiety’. Trusting God is better than caring, worrying, or being anxious. Trust the outcome to God and it’ll be what it’ll be according to His will. We won’t live an hour more by worrying over unknown outcomes. Today, when we sense worry building, let’s trust in God’s promises.

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 February 15 – Anxious or Worried?

“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” – Matthew 6:25 (NASB)

“These are the days of worry and fretting.” Is this true? Perhaps for many it is days of anxiety. If attention is given to “news” there is little reason to have confidence that all is well in our lives. We can’t begin to list all the “warnings” and “breaking news” flooding our broadcasts, newspapers, and online sources. Some translations use “anxious” as an alternative for “worry.” Our verse is much better understood in its larger context. “For this reason” indicates the connection with the preceding verses (Matthew 6:16-24). The connection between the preceding and the following passages, likely has this meaning: Since earthly treasures fail to satisfy, and setting the heart on them indicates forfeiting the enduring pleasures of heaven, the yearning for such earthly riches distorts our mental and moral vision,  And, because a choice must be made between God and Worldly wealth, we are warned to not continue setting our hearts on mundane earthly things, such as food and drink to live, or on clothes to be dressed. Our promise is that life and the value of life in God is greater than what is needed to sustain our life which God provides.

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 November 11 – Searched and Cleansed

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.” – Psalm 139:23-24 (NASB)

After acknowledging and confessing God to be all and in all that is good and holy, David returns to his first request with an one more request. The words which the psalmist thought about as he composed this song finally spurs him to recognize that he needs the all-knowing, everywhere-present, and all-powerful God. We do too. None of us, just as David, can set our way right on our own. We need our perfect God, our all-knowing Lord to execute the search warrant within our lives. We need our all-powerful God to discover the anxious thoughts and the hurtful way we have within ourselves. God promises to make our paths straight and that is how he leads us in the everlasting way. We must trust in the Lord with all our heart. We must recognize the all-knowing God is the one we need acknowledge and we need to get rid of the thought that we can figure this out ourselves. We can’t. Searched and cleansed is what God promises as an outcome if this is what we are willing to submit to. Let’s do it today. Let’s do it tomorrow too and every day after that.   

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October 8 – What? We Worry?

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7 (NASB)

Don’t worry! We hear and we say this so many times in our lives. “I can’t help but worry!” we say. Why do we? One word. CONTROL. We wish to control our world and we do not like somethings that come into our world. We want to be in control and that means everything and everyone around us. Spend a little time on social media and you’ll see how full it is of people spouting off their fix-it solutions. Here is what happens: We worry, no matter what it’s about, and we chase our peace of mind and heart out the door. “Scat!” is what we say to our peace. A better way is to follow verse 6 so we can enjoy the promise in verse 7. Simple and easy (when we rely on God) is the way. Next time refuse to think for even a moment that our worries have any effect on any outcome. Acknowledge that anxiety (worry) is powerless in the realm of fixing anything. If we do, we receive a promised peace that we will not understand and it will guard our hearts and minds against renewed anxious thoughts.

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December 12 – Feeble Hands, Shaky Knees

“Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble. Say to those with anxious heart, “Take courage, fear not. Behold, your God will come with vengeance; The recompense of God will come, But He will save you.”,” Isaiah 35: 3-4 (NASB)

We have looked in the past and considered the promise of our eternal source of encouragement and today’s verse shows us a way we are encouraged. These words are interesting because they mention exhausted and feeble knees that give way. The ‘exhausted’ are those with slack hands. The ‘feeble’ are those with tottering knees. They have become worn out and need new energy. But it is also clear that weak hands and shaky knees are caused by fearful hearts. So, what the Lord promises us is that He will come and He will strengthen our hearts so that we do not need to fear. When we trust him to help us not fear, that will make our hands and our knees strong. When we have needs like this in our lives our God is aware of them and He promises to come to help us. If we know that God will respond in this way, it encourages us to depend on Him and press on, whatever is ahead in our path.

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November 7 – Anxiety: Don’t OD on Worry

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7 (NASB)

This is a powerful passage and we have considered its promises before.. It’s is a good time to consider again the instruction that our God has given to us through the inspiration of His Spirit. We seem to be overdosing on anxiety these days. We find it expressed by nearly everyone.  Especially in the United States following the recent Presidential election. Results are up in the air and there is a pretty fierce battle going on. The end results will bring satisfaction to only about half of the American population.  The command is blatantly clear. Do not be anxious for any reason about anything at all. Instead, take the concerns you have to God in your prayers. And in your prayers, plead for what is good and Godly and be thankful God hears your prayers. Then what? Then, a peace that comes from God will stand guard over your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. Garding against the hate, bitterness, worry, and despair that may be filling your time. No, there is no explanation. This peace is beyond our understanding. But it is the Word of God and He promises this peace if we obey these instructions. 

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