THE WAY TO STOP WORRYING
And do not seek what you shall eat, and what you shall drink,
and do not keep worrying. Luke 12:29
When I was about 30 years old, I noticed a little lump in my arm. It was very small... but was starting to get bigger. I kept figuring it was nothing and gave it little thought. My wife, Debbie, encouraged me to go to the doctor to make sure it was not cancerous.
When making my appointment, I started to think the worst... that I might truly have cancer. My mind filled with fear and my heart filled with worry. Oh no!! What if I have cancer? What if I have to take Chemo? What if I lose my hair? I vividly remember driving down Highway 6 in Houston, worrying myself to death over something I had no control over... over something that never happened.
Worry has been described as a thin stream of fear that trickles through the mind. It is that nagging sense of doom and dread that comes into our hearts... and it always seems to focus on the worst possible scenarios:
Oh no, I think I am going to lose my job.
Oh no, I think my company may downsize... or fold up completely.
Oh no, I think my spouse is going to leave me.
Oh no, I think my children may get in a car wreck and die.
Oh no, I think someone is going to break into my house and hurt me.
Oh no, I think it is going too good... something bad is getting ready to happen.
Oh no, I think our economy is going to collapse, and I will lose everything.
Oh no, I think my health will fail, and I will be sick until I die.
God tells us over and over in His Word that we are not to worry. Why does He say that?
Because worry is sinful. It is the opposite of faith... and "whatever is not from faith is sin" (Rom. 14:23).
Because worry is hurtful. Worry hurts God's heart. Worry tells God that you think He is unable... unable to care for you and provide for your needs (see Num. 14:11).
Because worry is wasteful. Worry never solved a problem, and it never dried a tear. Worry is a total waste of time and energy.
Because worry is harmful. Worry will damage your physical body in the same way sand in your gas tank will damage your engine. You were not made to handle worry.
HOW TO WIN THE WAR WITH WORRY
Let's face it, all of us struggle with worry. But what can we do to stop it? The key is transferring ownership.
If you really stop to think about it, we worry about the things we own... the things that are ours: our finances, our family, our future, our job, our health. We do not worry about things that are not ours: our neighbor's finances, our neighbor's health, our neighbor's family, or our neighbor's job.
Ownership causes us to worry because we fear a sense of loss. Did you catch that? Let me say it again: Ownership causes us to worry because we fear a sense of loss. I am going to lose "my" house, "my" spouse, "my" job, "my" car, "my" money, "my" kids, etc. So the key to not worrying is to transfer all ownership over to God. If you and I give everything we have to God, we are not going to fear losing anything because it is already gone... it is already given over and lost to Jesus.
When I was 20 years old, I began to lose my hair. It is very traumatic to lose your hair, as some of you well know. Friends would stare at my head and point out the fact that my hair was thinning - "You don't say? Thanks for pointing that out, I was not aware of it!" I would spend a long time combing my hair and trying new hair care products, hoping against hope to turn the tide. I was losing my hair rapidly... and the monthly hair loss was weighing on my mind.
When I finally faced the brutal facts and made the decisions to shave my head, I was set free. No longer did I worry about losing my hair... because it was now lost and gone. While I worried about it thinning and looking different from month to month, I never worried about it after it was shaved. Once it was lost and gone... and so was the worry associated with it.
WILL YOU LOSE YOUR LIFE TO THE LORD?
You can break free from worry today if you will simply transfer ownership of everything in your life to God. If you will choose to "lose" it all to Jesus, you will no longer worry about losing it. And if you do sense yourself worrying again, you will realize that you have taken back ownership of those things that do not really belong to you... they belong to God ("The earth is the Lord's, and all it contains" - Ps. 24:1). Once you relinquish everything again to Him, the peace will come and the worry will go.
What are you waiting for? Transfer it all over to Jesus. Trust Him with the whole of your life. He knows what is best... loves you the most... and has all power and authority. The moment you let it all go to Him, you will experience the relief of the pressure and release of His power in your life.
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Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast. Click here to become a ministry partner.