FAITH COMMENTARY

Worry and Fear Go Together

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How many of you reading this article are worried or fearful about something? The IRS? Politics? Your job? Your marriage? A huge number of Americans are on some sort of medication for anxiety. Chances are you or someone in your immediate family is on an anxiety drug. 

What if I could show you the way to never worry again… about anything? What would you pay for such advice? Well, don’t worry. It doesn’t cost anything. The price has already been paid for you. All you have to do is accept the gift.

Of all the living things that God created, we human beings are the only ones that worry. And we worry about everything. Did you know there’s even a web site called www.worrybank.com where you can “deposit your worries” and “withdraw instant comfort.”

Jesus says we ought not to worry. He says: "...do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?" As usual, what Jesus says makes sense. We DO worry too much, especially those of us in this affluent society who, on the surface, seem to have less to worry about than so many others in the world.

Sure, I’m worried about North Korea. I’m worried about my weight. One mental health expert writes that our worries are like a burlap bag — ugly, scratchy, heavy, unattractive, hard to get our arms around and impossible to give away.

Some of us are literally worrying ourselves sick over some situation over which we have no control.

Worry and fear are needless burdens that keep us from being all God created us to be. Ask any doctor or nurse. Worry is a disease that causes high blood pressure, stress on the heart, migraine headaches, and a long list of stomach problems.

Although it’s not likely any readers are in real danger of going hungry tomorrow, I don’t want to minimize the very real problems that many of us face. Often, though, our worries reflect the condition of our souls more than it does our circumstances. Oftentimes, it depends what you have on the inside more than what is confronting you on the outside.

One of the secrets of a fulfilled life is to focus on today. Are you healthy this moment? Do you have enough money and food to live on this moment? Are your children well this moment? Then give God thanks for this moment. And try not to worry about what may never occur. Live, says Jesus, in the present.

Listen to Jesus’ words, “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you…if that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you…?”

And that’s the heart of the problem, isn’t it, our lack of faith? We really don’t know how much God loves us. That’s why we worry about the future. So this is the message that Jesus has for us this day: Don’t worry! Live in the present. Always try to do the right thing. God loves you and will provide for you.

The disciples faced fear. To whom did they turn? Even Jesus faced fear. And where did He turn? Where can you turn? May I suggest a church that faithfully believes in and teaches God’s Word? I mentioned earlier that the price for your worry has already been paid for you. Jesus paid it on a cross. Will your life become worry-free or fear-free? Not necessarily, but Jesus will equip you to deal with them better than a drug will.

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