In our last post, we talked about winning over worry. We know that worry can eat us up. We worry about all kinds of things, including things that have not happened or may not happen.
The mind is an amazing creation of God. And our mind is where so much of our battles with worry come from. We think about the world around us, we think about all the things going on in life and before we know it, we can be overcome with worry.
In our last blog, we looked at a story found in Mt. 8:23-27; Mk. 4:35-41 and Lk. 8:22-25. We read that Jesus and the disciples were traveling in a boat when a storm kicked up. The disciples were worried about what might happen. Would they be thrown overboard? Would they make it to the other side of the lake?
Jesus had been sleeping, and when the disciples woke Him up, He asked the question, “where is your faith?” (Lk. 8:25). This led us to our first step in dealing with worry. The point is that nothing that comes into our lives, nothing happening today, is outside of the knowledge of God.
Dealing with worry begins with trusting that God is indeed in control, and we can thank Him for His presence with us through everything that happens. Practice the presence of God. When worry hits, stop and say “thank you, Lord” for knowing exactly all that is going on.
That was our last blog. Let’s continue discussing dealing with worry. In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, He dealt with the issue of anxiety and worry. In Mt. 6:25-34 He gave insights into worry and some thoughts on how to deal with it.
So first, we begin winning over worry when we recognize that nothing is outside of God’s knowledge or care. We spend time thanking Him for the things He has done and is going to do in our lives and we thank Him for knowing exactly what is going on.
In Mt. 6:25-27, Jesus wants to help us focus on what matters in life. This can help in the war against worry. Let me explain. In vss. 25-30, He tells us that worry does us no good. It cannot add years to our life. In fact, worry is detrimental to our health.
The Lord reminds us that we need to recognize that if God cares for things such as birds and flowers, and we are of much more value than they, that He will take care of us. In other words, we worry over so many things, from finances to health issues to relationship stuff, and in doing so, we can take our eyes off of God’s promise to watch over us if we are His children.
Jesus is not saying we sit back and do nothing. He does provide for us financially through work and others helping. He gives us doctors to help when needed. One of the points Christ is making is that worry gets us off track, paralyzes us, and does us and those around us no good.
Worry takes our minds off of spiritual things. Jesus says God will take care of us. In that, we must remember that God is in control, He is Sovereign, and the reality in this is that things may not always go the way we would like. But that is part of dealing with worry also. This is where faith and trust in God come in. He is God and He is free to be Who He is.
But let us be reminded that He will take care of us. Jesus tells us that in Matthew 6. My family and I can speak from experience on this. When Sherry and I were first married and in those early years of life together, there were times that a need arose that from the human perspective there was nothing we could do to take care of it.
But God intervened. He has taken care of us time after time. We learned to keep Him first (Mt. 6:33), trusting that He would help with the situation. Many reading this can say they have seen God step in and do things when we thought humanly we were stuck.
So here are a couple additional thoughts on dealing with worry. First, as noted in our last blog and reiterated in this one, we must learn to trust that God is with us in every situation and that nothing is outside of His knowledge. He is with us. Learn to praise Him for the things He has done.
Second, we must remind ourselves that worry does no one any good. It is bad for our health and can cause all kinds of problems. Jesus said we could not add any years to life by worrying about things. In this, remember that worry comes when we focus on the situations around us and not on the God Who is there. It is true that we cannot ignore the things that are happening in life, but we do not have to allow them to consume us. It does us no good.
Third, remember that God values us far more than any of His other created things. In Mt. 6:30, Jesus said that if God has in His hand in the creation around us, and we are of more value than it, He will take care of us. Again, how He does that will differ for all of us.
Worry takes our minds off of this fact. Jesus died for the sins of mankind. God has shown His love in so many ways, and if we are His children, if we have put our faith and trust in Christ, we can lean on the fact that He knows what is best for us and He is with us.
Remember it is not a promise that life will be easy. It is a promise that He is with us in every situation and circumstance. Jesus is reminding us of that too. We will have some final thoughts in our next blog on winning over worry.