Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV)
6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
There are struggles in life that can become emotional strongholds – things that hold you hostage and keep you from wholeheartedly serving and trusting God and experiencing the abundant life He has promised. One of the most damaging strongholds is worry. It is available for every age and is an obstacle to moving forward. When it is a stronghold in your life, it is a way of life.
We worry about so many things – what do people think about us, do we look fit, are we healthy, and do we have enough money. If you are prone to worry, there is no limit to the possibilities to worry about.
People cope with worrying in a number of ways – some drink to dismiss it, others shop for a distraction, some take naps or go to bed early to avoid it. None of these remedies work because the panic still sets in.
In Matthew 6:25, 31-34, Jesus stated three times, “Do not worry!” The Greek word used for “worry” is the concept of being strangled or choked. It leaves you frustrated when you ought to be free and if you are His disciple, then you should stop it.
Worrying is a sin because it is doubt in the power and goodness of God. Some people don’t like to call worrying a sin – they are just “concerned” about something. How do you distinguish concern from worry? Legitimate concern is when you are in control of your thoughts and feelings and illegitimate worry is when the matter controls your thoughts, actions and emotions.
Jesus said, “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” (Matthew 6:25-26) The reason we worry is that we are focusing on the wrong authority. If our Father feeds birds that have no soul, how much more will He take care of us since we are worth even more to Him? Remember His promise that He will never leave you nor forsake you as the first antidote to worry.
Dear Lord, we thank You once again that You are in control. Help us to not fall into the trap of worrying about the things about us, help us to instead put our full trust in You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.