Thursday, January 29, 2015

Prescription for Peace Part 3, Worry

Robin, Courtesy of
Overhead in a Tree One Day

Said the robin to the sparrow,
     "I should really like to know
Why these anxious human beings
     Rush about and worry so."

Sparrow, Courtesy of

Said the sparrow to the robin,
     "I think that it must be
They have no Heavenly Father
     Such as cares for you and me."
              --The Prairie Pastor

The majority of the American population worries about many things--the economy, jobs, health, you name it. In fact, worry is the number one health priority in the United States. Hospitals are full of people who worried themselves into physical and mental illness.

Doctors tell us that worry affects the entire body and actually causes diseases of the nervous system, digestive system, the glands, and the heart. In short, worry is not only a sin against God by demonstrating a lack of faith, it is also a sin against ourselves. Worry kills.

It's been said that "worry is interest paid on trouble before it is due." Many of the things we worry about never happen.

There are two things we should not worry about:
  1. Things we cannot do anything about. In that case worry is useless.
  2. Things we can help. Instead, we need to get busy and do what we can.
Worry never does any good. In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus describes the futility of worrying. In fact, He says worry is equated with having "little faith." Worry about food, clothes, and housing dominates the thoughts of unbelievers. Since "your Heavenly Father already knows all your needs," we are to "seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need."

"Oh, I'm not worried; I'm just concerned," you say. How can you tell the difference?
  • A worried person sees a problem.
  • A concerned person solves a problem.
Sometimes, I even catch myself worrying as I pray. Instead of praying about my concern and entrusting it to God to work it out, I find myself picking up my burden and carrying it on my shoulders again, repeating my request over and over. I'm not saying to ask once and never repeat it again. I'm talking about worrying over it instead of thanking God for the answer that is on the way.

I read of one person, J. Arthur Rank, who came up with a practical way to keep from worrying. He designated Wednesday as worry day. Whenever he was tempted to worry about something, he wrote it down and stuck the note is his "worry box." On worry day, he read all the notes. Often, he found that what he had been worried about had either been resolved or hadn't even happened.

Corrie ten Boom, who survived a Nazi concentration camp where she was imprisoned for aiding the Jews, said, "Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength."

Worry is a sure way to ruin a perfectly good present by imagining calamities that may never come. Jesus rose again and is seated at the right hand of God the Father to take care of our present. God's prescription for worry is to seek His kingdom first. Do what you can to prevent trouble, and trust Him to take of the rest.