This past week we finalized the flights for our 2019 Onward to Jerusalem Bible Study Tour. Although I’ve handled these tours many times before it always causes me great stress to make sure everyone is taken care of properly. Over the past year there have been nights when I have awakened in a panic because of some detail that I worried might have been missed. When we finally get the details finished, I always feel embarrassed for worrying. That’s the way worry is.
What worries you the most? What keeps you awake at night? Do you struggle with worry attacks? This is one struggle that is common to most people.
Have you ever felt like this? Job said,
Job 3:25 (NLT) What I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come true.
Do you worry that something terrible might happen? Do you ever have an inexplicable feeling of impending doom?
I believe this proves that our enemy knows how to attack us. We are in a spiritual battle, and when we’re in a battle it is no time to ration bullets!
What if the Lord had provided the ammunition to defeat worry? Let’s listen to Jesus’ teaching on worry…
Luke 12:22–32 (NLT) Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things? Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.”
After reading the above passage, discuss the answers to these questions with someone who knows you well:
- WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT JESUS SAYS NOT TO WORRY ABOUT? (See vv. 22-23). Jesus even says not to worry about the most critical necessities of life…food, water, clothing, and shelter. If we are not to worry about the things that determine life or death, how much less should we worry about the incidentals of life (like whether or not someone has a seat on an airplane so they can travel to Israel)?
- HOW DOES GOD LOOK AT WORRY? (See v. 24). Since God makes sure the birds have enough, shouldn’t we be convinced that He is going to care for our needs?
- WHAT DOES WORRY ACCOMPLISH? (See vv. 25-26). All our worrying cannot add even one more day to our lives. And if we can’t do something as simple as that, why worry about anything else? Worrying is less than useless. It can be destructive. Ancient drawings depict worry as a wolf sinking its teeth into the neck of a man. That’s because the root of the word “worry” means “to strangle or to choke.”
- WHY IS IT WRONG FOR A CHRISTIAN TO WORRY? (vv. 27-29). First, it is wrong to worry because we are commanded not to worry. When I am worrying, I am disobeying God. Disobedience to God is sin. Therefore, worrying is sin! Worrying might be the most frequent sin of all.
- WHAT IS GOD’S KNOWLEDGE OF YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES? (See v. 30). God knows everything that is going on in our lives. He knows and cares about every single detail. He knows our needs and is powerful enough to supply them according to the riches of His Son (Philippians 4:19).
- WHAT IS THE REMEDY TO WORRY? (See vv. 31-32). Seeking the expansion of God’s Kingdom above all else. Allowing Him complete and total rule over every area of our lives. Committing ourselves to righteous living. Maybe our worrying says more about what we think of God than it does about our circumstances!
3 ADDITIONAL TOOLS TO DEFEAT WORRY:
- GIVE ALL YOUR WORRIES TO THE LORD. If you give them to the Lord and then take them back (you will know this because you will be worrying about them again), give them back to the Lord again…and again… and again…until worry is gone!
1 Peter 5:7 (NLT) Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
- GROW IN YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE DIMENSIONS OF GOD’S LOVE. The more we are able to comprehend the depth, width and breadth of God’s love the more we will realize there is no need to worry. If we doubt God’s love, or God’s goodness, or God’s ability to provide, worry will be the result. If we are secure in God’s perfect love we will be able to defeat worry.
1 John 4:18 (NLT) Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
- MEDITATE ON GOOD THINGS. We have to keep our mind on good things. Since we know how to worry, we already know how to meditate. Worry is simply meditating on bad things…terrible outcomes… awful news. We are commanded instead to meditate on good things. This will require vigilance on our part to make sure we are thinking the right way.
Philippians 4:8 (NLT) And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Christians should be the most worry-free people on earth. Our eternal home is guaranteed by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, God knows every detail of our lives and is willing and able to act to provide what we need, God’s love brings a promise of His compassionate care for His people. Worry is so unnecessary for us who know and love the Lord. Let’s encourage one another to live a worry-free life!
Onward defeating worry,