Masters Plan

Go Therefore and Make Disciples

WORRY

Life In This World

WORRY

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 

Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.   Isaiah 41:10

Did you know that “Fear not” is the most frequently spoken command in the Bible?  Fear is all too often the reaction to life’s challenges and circumstances that, if not dealt with, will paralyze us from experiencing what God has for us in that moment.  Yet God, from the Old Testament through the New, is constantly reminding us that we do not need to fear.  We have a God who is bigger than all that we will face.

John Ortberg, in his book If You Want To Walk On Water, You’ve Got To Get Out Of The Boat, describes vividly the connection between fear and worry:

There is such a thing as good fear: the fear that keeps a child from touching a hot stove, the fear that keeps you from driving recklessly, the fear that keeps a man from dressing the way he really wants to—in bold plaid colors that express his true personality—because he is afraid of what his wife may say.

If fear only happened when it was truly needed—when you are about to be struck by a truck or chased by a homicidal maniac—it would be nothing to worry about.  The problem is that for most of us, fear strikes when it is neither helpful nor wanted.  It can get attached to what does not truly threaten us and can become paralyzing instead of motivating.

In some cases fear ceases to be sporadic and becomes habitual.  When this happens, we become worriers.  Worry is a special form of fear.  The traditional distinction is that fear is caused by an external source while worry or anxiety is produced from the inside. Yet they produce the same physical responses.  Worry is fear that has unpacked its bags and signed a long-term lease.  Worry never moves out of its own accord—it has to be evicted.

Worry is fear that has matured and taken root in your life.  Worry not only stresses about the things that are there; it imagines things that are not there or most likely won’t even come to pass.   The greatest crime of worry is that it shifts our focus from God to ourselves and our circumstances.  It makes our problems bigger than they are and our God much smaller than He is.  Nothing you will face is beyond the ability of God to use in your life or see you through.  Shift your focus from the worries and cares that surround you and put it back on the one who loved you enough to go to the cross so that you might be free to live an abundant life.  Trust is the antithesis of worry...and they are both choices.  Today, start beginning the practice of choosing to trust.

casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.   1 Peter 5:7

HMMM {QUESTIONS}

  • What are the things in your life that you find yourself worrying about most often?
  • What are some of the ways you have seen God work in your past challenges either by using them for your own good or just seeing you through to the end?  How can you trust Him today for some of the things that are weighing heavily on your heart?
  • How will you apply the truths in this topic to your life this week?  Be specific.

verses related to this topic

  • Psalm 39:6-7

    Psalm 39:6-7

    Surely every man walks about as a phantom; surely they make an uproar for nothing; he amasses riches and does not know who will gather them. And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.

  • Psalm 127:2

    Psalm 127:2

    It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; for He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.

  • Isaiah 26:3-4

    Isaiah 26:3-4

    The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.

  • Isaiah 41:10

    Isaiah 41:10

    Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,

  • Matthew 6:25-34

    Matthew 6:25-34

    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? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?' For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

  • Matthew 13:22

    Matthew 13:22

    “And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.”

  • Luke 10:41

    Luke 10:41

    But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

  • Luke 12:11-12

    Luke 12:11-12

    "When they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not worry about how or what you are to speak in your defense, or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say."

  • Romans 8:32

    Romans 8:32

    He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

  • 1 Corinthians 7:32

    1 Corinthians 7:32

    But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord;

  • Philippians 4:6-7

    Philippians 4:6-7

    Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

  • Philippians 4:19

    Philippians 4:19

    And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

  • Hebrews 11:1

    Hebrews 11:1

    Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

  • 1 Peter 5:6-7

    1 Peter 5:6-7

    Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

books related to this topic

  • If You Want To Walk On Water, You've Got To Get Out Of The Boat

    If You Want To Walk On Water, You've Got To Get Out Of The Boat

    John Ortberg invites you to consider the incredible potential that awaits you outside your comfort zone. Out on the risky waters of faith, Jesus is waiting to meet you in ways that will change you forever, deepening your character and your trust in God.

  • Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear

    Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear

    Citing key common fears—violence, overwhelming challenges, sickness and other worst-case scenarios—Lucado offers welcome wisdom about those solely internal battles individuals face daily. While there exists no fast fix or simple cure for the fear-bound individual, Lucado's tempered counsel and faith-driven remedies will offer day-by-day spiritual medicine of the most potent kind.

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