November 11, 2008
Unraveling Worry From Our Life

Philippians 4:8-9

People fret over all kinds of issues, from safety and job security to election results. For many folks—and maybe you are one—anxiety is woven so tightly into the fabric of their day that they’ve learned to live with it.

We treat worry like a benign emotion when in fact it can actually be harmful. Anxiety clouds our thinking, divides our focus, and robs us of concentration. To complicate matters, the body can react to prolonged pressure on the psyche. Stress can manifest physically through tension headaches, elevated blood pressure, and even heart attacks.

Drifting through a mentally and physically exhausting life is not the Lord’s plan for us. Our challenge is to take captive anxious thoughts (2 Cor. 10:5) and replace them with God-pleasing ones—dwelling on that which is pure, good, and right.

The best way to remove stray threads of worry is to crowd them out with something positive: weave Scripture into your mental grid instead. God has something to say about everything that concerns us. Feeling weak or under-qualified? “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). Afraid your paycheck won’t cover this month’s rent, clothes, and food? “Do not worry . . . for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things” (Matt. 6:31-32).

Jesus said worry adds nothing to our life (Matt. 6:27). In fact, we waste time and energy dwelling on concerns instead of affirming our trust in the Lord. We must choose to set our minds upon Him before anxiety leaves us feeling frayed.

EXTRA COLUMN:

On Praying With Authority

“Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him . . . he will call upon Me, and I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him” (Ps. 91:14-15).

“The Lord is far from the wicked,
but He hears the prayer of the righteous” (Prov. 15:29).

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” (Matt. 7:7-11).

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7).

“This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him” (1 John 5:14-15).

“Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16).

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