Did You Know Worry is Optional?
By Rick Warren
“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you” (Isaiah 43:2 NLT).
You have three basic choices when it comes to the stress in your life: You can worry, you can ignore your stress, or you can relax and trust God.
The Bible says in Psalm 116:7, “I said to myself, ‘Relax, because the Lord takes care of you’” (NCV). You can’t trust God and worry at the same time.
That’s not just good spiritual wisdom from the Lord; it’s wisdom for your health as well. The Bible also says in Proverbs 14:30 that a heart at peace is a healthy heart: “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones” (NIV).
It’s not just what you eat that destroys your health — it’s what eats you! You can have the best health plan around — eat fresh, healthy, organic, and in proper portions — but if you’re resentful against someone in your life or worry about tomorrow, your health will suffer.
Worry is like a poison or a fire. It burns you up inside. I remember watching an old episode of the detective show “Columbo” when Country singer Johnny Cash played the bad guy. When he finally got caught, he said, “I’m so glad I got caught, because the guilt was killing me.”
We deal with all sorts of worries in our lives, but many of them revolve around these five areas. We worry:
- We’ll be left alone.
- We won’t know what to do in the future.
- We won’t have what we need in the future.
- We will be hurt by something or someone in the future.
- We won’t have the strength to survive in the future.
But there’s good news: You don’t have to worry. Worry is optional misery! You have many things that impact your health that you cannot control. But you can control the amount you worry!
God has more than 7,000 promises in the Bible. Many of those promises center on the areas you worry about the most, like the five mentioned above.
If you have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, you know the One who created your future. His promises about your future give life, not stomach-eating worry.
The Bible says in one of those 7,000 promises: “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you” (Isaiah 43:2 NLT).
You have no need to worry. The One who holds your future will walk with you through it.
Talk It Over
- How have you seen worry impact your physical health or the physical health of those you care about?
- In what area of your life are you struggling to trust God and causing unneeded worry?
- What promise from God will you claim to help you trust him more and worry less?
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This devotional © 2017 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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