“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret…”
This verse from Ps. 37:7 reveals how negative emotions such as fear and anxiety distract us from worshiping God. In this post, we’ll see how nagging worries keep us from focusing on God and the truth of His Word.
Worry – allowing one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles; emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.
It has been said that worrying is praying for what you don’t want!
We all have worries that frequently cross our mind. Our tendency to worry simply means that we are actively engaged in a changing and unpredictable world. The only people that don’t face opportunities to worry are dead people! But God has equipped us with a mighty arsenal of spiritual weapons, namely His Word, to redress fretful feelings and negative emotions. For every negative emotion, there is a positive Biblical key and action step you can take to break free from any mental or emotional cage that would hold you hostage.
“ Which of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?… 32 your heavenly Father knows what you need. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” (Matt 6:27, 32-34)
Worry can only exist where faith is absent. Whatever you’re presently worried about, if we’re brutally honest, you are not actively standing in faith on God’s Word in that area of your life. Ouch!
“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? (Matt 6:25)
There is much more to life than the things that cause us to worry. People of faith who live a quality, well-balanced, spiritual life don’t need things. They tend to enjoy each moment of life for what it is, and stand in faith for all things to work together for their good, securely knowing they have a Savior who cares for them.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” (Phil 4:6)
Don’t wring your hands in worry; fold your hands in prayer! Look to the One who lovingly declares and reminds us that He is my Comforter when my heart is faint within me. (Jer 8:18)
I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (Is 41:9-10, 13)
Being fearful about what might happen will always put you in a disadvantaged position spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. Negative emotions usually lead to adverse and sometimes regrettable actions. We easily and often complain much more than we pray. True intercessors and those with a vibrant prayer life never complain. Instead, they pray for God to change their heart, change their circumstances, and use their circumstances to change them for the better. I encourage you to never waste your time being fearful about things you cannot change, and instead develop a habit of praying to God. If you have to call another meeting to deal with issues, don’t call a meeting for problems; call a meeting for prayer!
Our heavenly Father comforts us through His Word and through His Spirit. You can always gauge a Christian’s spiritual maturity based upon how much or how little they complain…or pray.
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)
Worry brings torment, but we are given the spiritual weapon of love to jettison fear from our lives and bring comfort. We are reminded in 1 John 4:10:
“and we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”
To overcome worry, you must know and believe that you are the intended recipient of God’s love.
Corrie ten Boom, a Nazi concentration camp survivor, wisely shares:
“Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles, it empties today of its strength.”
God’s Word to the Apostle Paul is for us too:
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 12:9)
Friend, you can whole-heartedly depend on, and trust in God’s strength when you are weak with worry concerning the cares of this life.
Are you standing in God’s love, using the Word of truth to counteract negative emotions? Have you intentionally received by faith God’s peace that surpasses all understanding? If not, I encourage you to do so now.
James E. Ward Jr. is a pastor, author, and entrepreneur who speaks nationally and internationally on cultural and spiritual issues. James is pastor and founder of INSIGHT Church in the north Chicago suburb of Skokie, IL.