Listen to the edition of Alive in Christ Radio: Worrying for Nothing
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In the gospel of John, chapter 19, verse 30 Jesus exclaimed, in victory, “It is finished!” Our Lord and Savior was NOT kidding. What He accomplished on the cross opened the gate to almighty God’s forgiveness, grace, and righteousness for all who believe in the name of Jesus. That is a “done deal!”
So, why do we spend 70% of our days in worry? What are we afraid of? What is it that (or who) scares us so?
After I get through this teaching, the only way you will be able to worry is if you choose to worry. Why would you ever make the effort to allow yourself to worry about anything? Now you say, but Tony, “What if this? What is that?” Well, what if? “If” is not here. At least not yet. So, why worry about what may never come? And, if by chance “if” does arrive, I have a sure fire way to instantly overcome it!
Doubts often cause worry and fear. We can decide to lift our worries to the LORD. We can accept that God is who He says He is, and Jesus is who He says He is. One of God’s many names is Jehovah-jireh which means, “God provides,” or God is our provider.
As the apostle John sat in prison, he felt some doubts about whether Jesus really was the Savior. How did Jesus respond to John? Was He angry? Was He offended? Was He upset? Did He threaten to send John to hell for doubting He is who He is? Jesus answered John’s doubts, in His loving way, by reminding John of the acts that revealed His true identity: healing the sick, raising the dead, and preaching the gospel (teaching the Good News) to the poor. With so much evidence, Jesus’ identity is obvious. Do you sometimes share John’s doubts? It would be OK by Jesus when you do? For Jesus will speak to you and share the evidence of His love in Scripture (God’s Holy Bible), and in your life. When you doubt, don’t turn away for Jesus, instead, turn to Him.
When you allow yourself, and make no mistake, you must give yourself permission to be afraid, or to worry, that is the instant of which to turn and trust in Jesus who is always beside you. God tells us that troubles will come, but you must always remember, Jesus stands with you to lighten your load of even what you believe to be the heaviest of burdens. Whatever is impossible TO you, is made easy FOR you by Jesus.
Matthew 11:30 (Jesus): For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.
God does not want you to waste a single second worrying. Instead, God wants us to know how much He loves us and how truly invaluable we are to Him. In fact, Jesus said that God cares for the sparrows’ every need. You are far more valuable to God than these little birds.
Matthew 6:25-34 (Jesus): 25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Think about it and know, your value to God was proven perfectly by the fact that God sent His only Son to die for you in order for you to be free.
John 3:16: For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
We know deep within our heart, God loves us and values us. In fact, God places such value on you, you need never fear personal threats or difficult trials. Yes, they will come, but God will stand with you and for you. You see, although we are of such amazing value to God, does not mean that He will take away all of your troubles.
Matthew 10:16 (Jesus): Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.
As a loving father, God tests you to see how well you hold up under the hassles of everyday life. He watches you carefully to see whether you will rely on self and fold up, or turn to Him to return to safety. As you stand up for Christ in spite of your troubles, you will receive great rewards.
Matthew 5:11-12 (Jesus: The Beatitudes): 11 God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12 Be happy about it! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.
Doubt leads to fear. Fear leads to worry. So, when you remove doubt, you remove fear. In other words, when you know God, you know His universal sovereign power of any and all things. When you call upon God, you are trusting God. By trusting God, you are loving God. Jesus teaches us that love conquers fear. Love is the absence of fear and doubt. Without fear and doubt, you are liberated; set free from worry.
God expects us in and of ourselves to doubt, but Jesus stands ready just as He did as He appeared before Thomas (Doubting Thomas, Didymus: The Twin).
John 20:24-29 (Jesus): 24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. 25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”
26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”
28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.
29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
As you doubt or begin to wallow in worry, just as Jesus appeared before Thomas, Jesus will appear before you. As you seek Christ, Christ will draw near to you with peace, joy, love, and understanding. Jesus will touch our heart with the fruit of His Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-23: 22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things.
The law spoken here, is the law of nature, or the natural, or the flesh. In other words, no worry—no doubt can stand against you when you call upon the name of Jesus. When you bind worry in the name of Jesus, worry will immediately flee your presence. You see, worry is not from God, but from the devil. Satan wants to immobilize you in doubt, fear, and worry. As a child of God, you have the instant ability to stand against the father of lies and deception by faithfully choosing to call upon the name of the LORD.
James 4:7 (Jesus’ brother): Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
In other words, give your doubts, fears, and worries to God. In doing so, you are resisting the devil, and by God’s almighty power, the devil will instantly flee from you, taking with him, doubt, fear, and worry.
Imagine never being worried about anything! Until now, it seemed an impossibility. The apostle Paul shares with us an important piece of holy advice by encouraging us to convert our worries into prayers.
Philippians 4:6-9 (Paul): 6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
8 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. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
God’s peace will be with you. Peace is a 180 degree opposite of worry. Therefore, we can confidently state, “the absence of worry is peace;” not just any old peace, but God’s perfect peace. Peace is a strength that is provided by God.
Psalm 10-11 (David): The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace.
Allow me to share with you seven reasons not to worry directly from the words of Jesus as written for us in the gospel of Matthew. As I share, you decide.
1. The same God who created life in you can be trusted with every detail of your life (Matthew 6:24).
2. Worrying about the future hampers your efforts for today (Matthew 6:26).
3. Worrying is more harmful than helpful (Matthew 6:27).
4. God does not ignore those who depend on Him (Matthew 6:28-30).
5. Worry shows a lack of faith and understanding of God (Matthew 6:31-32).
6. There are real challenges God wants us to pursue and worrying keeps us from them (Matthew 6:33).
7. Living one day at a time keeps us from being consumed with worry (Matthew 6:34).
The next time and anytime you are overcome with worry, despair, doubt, or fear, I encourage you to call upon God immediately and without hesitation. God is always ready to act in your best interest rendering His peace, joy, hope, forgiveness and love. Allow God to set you free from all worry, all doubt, and all fear. God speaks to us today as He spoke to David in Psalm 37.
Psalm 37 (David):
A psalm of David.
1 Don’t worry about the wicked
or envy those who do wrong.
2 For like grass, they soon fade away.
Like spring flowers, they soon wither.
3 Trust in the Lord and do good.
Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart’s desires
5 Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him, and he will help you.
6 He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
7 Be still in the presence of the Lord,
and wait patiently for him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper
or fret about their wicked schemes.
8 Stop being angry!
Turn from your rage!
Do not lose your temper—
it only leads to harm.
9 For the wicked will be destroyed,
but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land.
10 Soon the wicked will disappear.
Though you look for them, they will be gone.
11 The lowly will possess the land
and will live in peace and prosperity.
12 The wicked plot against the godly;
they snarl at them in defiance.
13 But the Lord just laughs,
for he sees their day of judgment coming.
14 The wicked draw their swords
and string their bows
to kill the poor and the oppressed,
to slaughter those who do right.
15 But their swords will stab their own hearts,
and their bows will be broken.
16 It is better to be godly and have little
than to be evil and rich.
17 For the strength of the wicked will be shattered,
but the Lord takes care of the godly.
18 Day by day the Lord takes care of the innocent,
and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever.
19 They will not be disgraced in hard times;
even in famine they will have more than enough.
20 But the wicked will die.
The Lord’s enemies are like flowers in a field—
they will disappear like smoke.
21 The wicked borrow and never repay,
but the godly are generous givers.
22 Those the Lord blesses will possess the land,
but those he curses will die.
23 The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives.
24 Though they stumble, they will never fall,
for the Lord holds them by the hand.
25 Once I was young, and now I am old.
Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned
or their children begging for bread.
26 The godly always give generous loans to others,
and their children are a blessing.
27 Turn from evil and do good,
and you will live in the land forever.
28 For the Lord loves justice,
and he will never abandon the godly.
He will keep them safe forever,
but the children of the wicked will die.
29 The godly will possess the land
and will live there forever.
30 The godly offer good counsel;
they teach right from wrong.
31 They have made God’s law their own,
so they will never slip from his path.
32 The wicked wait in ambush for the godly,
looking for an excuse to kill them.
33 But the Lord will not let the wicked succeed
or let the godly be condemned when they are put on trial.
34 Put your hope in the Lord.
Travel steadily along his path.
He will honor you by giving you the land.
You will see the wicked destroyed.
35 I have seen wicked and ruthless people
flourishing like a tree in its native soil.
36 But when I looked again, they were gone!
Though I searched for them, I could not find them!
37 Look at those who are honest and good,
for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace.
38 But the rebellious will be destroyed;
they have no future.
39 The Lord rescues the godly;
he is their fortress in times of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them,
rescuing them from the wicked.
He saves them,
and they find shelter in him.
May almight God bless you always,
Founder, Executive Publisher
Christian Times Online