Monday, January 26, 2009

Do We Really Have to Worry

Please read Philippians 4:1-9. Worry is assuming responsibility that does not belong to you. If anybody had an excuse for worrying Paul did. His Christian friends at Philippi were disagreeing with one another. There was division among the believers at Rome. Added to these burdens was the possibility of his own death. Paul did not worry, instead, he took time to explain to us the secret of victory over worry. What is worry? It means to be pulled in different directions. The Old English root means to strangle. Spiritually, worry is wrong thinking and wrong feeling. If we are to conquer worry and experience the secure mind, we must meet the conditions that God has laid down. First, right praying. Paul does not write, pray about it. He is too wise to do that. He uses three words to describe right praying. Prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving. When we find ourselves worrying, we must get alone with God and worship Him. Adoration is what is needed. We must see the greatness and majesty of God. The bigger our God the smaller our problems. We must realize that He is big enough to solve our problems. We need to remember that "His ways are not our ways." There is supplication, an earnest sharing of our needs and problems. This leaves no place for half hearted, insincere prayer. It is not a matter of carnal energy but of spiritual intensity. There is appreciation, that is giving thanks to God. The Father enjoys hearing His children say thank you. Ten lepers were healed and one came back to say thanks. The percentage is no higher today. We must talk with God about everything that concerns us and Him. This is a major step toward victory over worry. Remember Daniel, he spent the night with the lions in peace when the King could not sleep. The first condition for victory over worry is right praying. Second, we must think right. Peace involves the heart and the mind. "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is fixed on You, because he trusts in You" (Isa. 26:3). Paul spells out in detail the things we ought to think about. We must think about whatever is true. Less than 10% of things people worry about are legitimate. Satan is a liar. He wants to corrupt our mind. The Holy Spirit controls our minds through truth. Whatever is honest and just. This means worthy of respect. We are not to let dishonorable things control our thoughts. Whatever is pure, lovely and of good report. Pure refers to moral purity. Lovely, is that which is beautiful and attractive. This is speaking of the Lord Jesus. Of good report means worth talking about. Whatever possesses virtue and praise, that which motivates us to do better. It will be worth commending to others. Right thinking is the result of daily meditation on the Word of God. Third, right living. We cannot separate outward action and inward attitude. Sin always results in unrest, and purity ought to result in peace. Paul balances four activities "Learned and received" and Heard and seen." It is one thing to learn truth. It is quite another to receive it inwardly and make it a part of your inner man. Facts are never enough, we must also have truth in the heart. Paul not only taught the Word but he lived it. We must learn the Word, receive it, hear it and do it. The peace of God is one test of whether or not we are in the will of God (Col. 3:15). If we walk with the Lord, then the peace of God exercises its influence over our hearts. When we disobey, we lose that peace. There is no need to worry, for worry is sin. With the peace of God to guard you and the God of peace to guide you, why worry? Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.

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