Thursday, September 29, 2011

Dealing with Worry

Take a moment to think about how we would complete this sentence: The more I worry about something . . . 

Perhaps we might end the sentence one of these ways:
…the worse the situation becomes.
…the more I realize that worry does not change things.
…the worse the situation gets in my mind because I imagine the worse case scenarios.

We are often worried about different things in life. Some of them may be trivial, but others are significant. Some of the things we worry about might include:
          Our parents getting a divorce
          Going through a divorce ourselves
          Failing a class
          A bad haircut/how we look
          Getting caught cheating on a test
          What others think of us
          What high school (or college) will be like
          Terrorist attacks or war in general
          Making friends
          Something being wrong with us physically (other than just our looks)
          Sex
          Family fights
          Our relationship with God
          Not having enough money to stay in our home
          Not having enough money to go to college
          Hunger around the world

As we look over the list above, we might laugh about some of them, but there are moments when each of the things on that list becomes the source of worry in our lives. How can we deal with worry?

1 Peter 5:7 – Cast all your anxiety on Christ, for He cares for you.
          What is anxiety?
          What are we supposed to do with the anxiety that we feel?
          “Cast” means to toss away from us. All too often instead of casting our anxieties away, we internalize them.
          What happens when we internalize our anxieties?
          Why does this verse say we should cast our anxieties to Jesus?
          How has Jesus shown us that He cares for us?

Philippians 4:6-7 – Do not worry about anything, but in everything through prayer and petition with thanksgiving; let your requests be made known to God.
          This verse tells us not to worry about anything. It is possible to NEVER worry?
          Of course it is impossible to never worry. But the way this verse is written in the Greek language actually means that we are not to make worry a “habit.”
          What habit does this verse say we should have instead of worrying?
          We should be in the habit of praying about our problems.
          Prayer is simply talking to God about what is on our minds.
          Prayer does two things:
1. Prayer lets us get some stuff off our minds, which often helps us think more clearly.
2. Prayer is how we access supernatural power to help us overcome our problems.
          In the context of this verse, what is a petition?
          Petition is asking God for something. We can petition God through earnest prayer.
          What should our attitude be when we ask God for things?
          We should have a thankful attitude when we pray. There are two reasons we should have this type of attitude when we pray:
1. People who are not thankful for what they already have often act like spoiled brats. If we are acting like a spoiled brat, why would God want to reinforce our bad attitude by granting our request?
2. When we thank God in advance for how He is going to answer our prayers, we prove that we trust Him and we open our minds to seeing Him work in ways that we might not have expected.
·         But can we really trust God with our problems? What if things do not work out the way we hoped?

Romans 8:28 - We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.”
          Does this verse mean that EVERY experience in our lives is good?
          NO ! ! ! ! There are many experiences in our lives that are NOT good.
          This verse means that God uses all the experiences in our lives to create some kind of good result.
          Look closely at the verse. Is EVERYONE promised GOOD results from their experiences in life?
          NO ! ! ! Only those who love God and are following His purposes for their lives are PROMISED good results.
          Many people have rejected God. God is a gentleman and will let those people go their own way and not force them to follow Him. But that also means they have rejected His power and ability to create a good result out of a bad experience.

Conclusion:
          When we are worried about something, we should toss that worry at the feet of Jesus.
          We do that by praying earnestly with a thankful heart and talking out our problems with the Lord.
          We also do that by knowing that everything that happens to us, even the bad things, will eventually have good results in our lives. As we put our trust in the Lord, we find the good results coming even out of bad experiences.

7 comments:

  1. thanks for this, very helpful.

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  2. I needed to be reminded of this today.

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  3. Chris Beltrami, Barre, VTSeptember 30, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    excellent
    thank you

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  4. Terry,

    I absolutely needed to read this today. God's timing is wonderful. Often times we worry about items as if they should fix themselves. When in reality the deep seeded worry we carry is really conviction of moving forward contrary to God's plan for our lives. My current situation is testimony to that -

    Just a thought -

    Blessings,

    M.W.

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  5. thank you so much for this!! I really needed to hear it....even though i am praying about my worries!!!

    thanks again...I'm so thankful to have you as a Pastor!!

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  6. Terry,

    Thanks for this. Working in ministry certainly doesn't make us immune to falling in a cycle of worry sometimes.

    I don't correspond with you often but I sure like hearing about the work you are doing in Vermont. You may not remember, but I brought a group to Washington when your were pastor there. We worked on the conference center. Not sure of the year but it's been a while ago. Nevertheless, I think of you often and the kind folks we met there in Washington.

    Blessings to you my friend,

    Paul Pinson
    First Baptist Church of Iva, SC

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  7. This rang so true in the last week. i have been dealing with a lot of stuff at work...fellow employees grumbling...idiot supervisor...I was worrying too much, and decided to give all that worry to god. A comforting peace came over me. Thanks for the devotional.

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