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If I told you not to worry… it wouldn’t help you very much. In fact, telling someone “don’t worry, be happy” is a little cliche and doesn’t have any meat to really help people. It is about as helpful as putting a screen-door on a submarine. It only patronizes them.
Jesus gives us our key to break the bondage of anxiety… trusting in the Lord and His Kingdom.
And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. (30) “For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. Luke 12:29-30
If you have been a believer for very long you are familiar with these verses. This principle is found here and in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew. According to our Lord, we become what we seek. So He encourages or commands His closest disciples to stop seeking and stop worrying about certain issues. His words are not a suggestion, they are imperatives. Each of us must choose to trust God for those things which are beyond our control.
Someone once said an average person’s anxiety is focused on :
- 40% — things that will never happen;
- 30% — things about the past that can’t be changed;
- 12% — things about criticism by others, mostly untrue;
- 10% — about health, which gets worse with stress; and
- 8% — about real problems that will be faced.
It is the Lord’s desire for us to stop grappling with the “what ifs” and allow Him to take charge and care of our daily needs. Our responsibility is to simply make a long term investment in God’s kingdom. This investment happens day by day as we continually turn our life over to Him.
The Bible always encourages us to “fear not.” Whenever we start to feel anxious or worried, it means we are on the path to fear. Remember I said previously worry is a faith killer. Before our fears manifest, we worry. The time to do battle over these issues is when worry and anxiety begins…not when they become full-blown fears. Worry is merely a gauge in your spiritual vehicle telling you that you are about to let fear rule the day.
The Bible calls us to be “casters or rollers.” Every believer is faced with burdens and cares too heavy to carry. Our call is to “give our burdens over to the Lord.” (1 Peter 5:7) Why? Because He is the only One who really cares! Others may be concerned… but only God really cares. Our job is to “cast or roll” our cares over to God.
Another translation of this verse (The Living Bible) puts it this way,
“Let Him have all your worries and cares, for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.”
The point is God is our only source in troubles. When we choose to worry we are carrying our own weight. The question becomes do we want to walk our issues out alone, or do we desire to be free and clear, allowing God to provide for all our needs. Before you can ask God for provisions, your personal worries and fears must be dealt with appropriately.
Tony Evans, a popular preacher from Texas, spoke of being on an elevator in a high-rise building. He said he’d never been particularly comfortable on such elevators. There was something about riding up and down in a little box several hundred feet off the ground that never sat well with him. He worried that something would go wrong.
One day it did. The car he was riding in got stuck between floors way up in the higher floors. He noted that some of the people in the car became frantic. They began to beat on the door hoping to get someone’s attention. Others began to yell in the hopes that their voices would get someone on the surrounding floors to come to their aid. Nobody ever heard their cries or their noises.
Then Evans quietly made his way to the front of the car, opened a little door in the wall and pulled out a telephone. Immediately he was connected with someone on the outside. He didn’t need to beat on the wall to get their attention. He didn’t need to speak loudly in the phone to receive help. He could have whispered and they would have heard him.
Evans said, “In this world, we’re going to get stuck in places where we aren’t comfortable. Some people begin to beat against the walls, others cry out in dismay. But the person who trusts in the power of confident prayer knows there’s Someone on the other end who hears their call and comes to their aid.”