Worry

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face towards you and give you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26

Trust in the Lord’s provision. Has he ever abandon you or let you down? No. What cause then to worry?

Some people are more prone to worry than others. Two cardiologists, Dr Meyer Friedman and Dr Ray Rosenman, after conducting research into the effects of stress upon the heart, divided people into two groups: Type A and Type B. Type A people were more prone to worry than Type B and were three times more likely to have a stroke or a heart attack than those in Type B category, even if they were doing the same sort of work and living in similar conditions. Rob Parsons, Director of Care For The Family, has identified some of the characteristics of Type A personalities – see if any of these ring true with you:

  • We are very competitive. We compete over everything and find to our embarrassment that when playing board games with small children we are desperately trying to win.
  • We cannot resist a telephone ringing. The worst thing in life that can happen to us is to get to the telephone just as it stops ringing. If that happens we begin to ring people, asking: ‘Was that you trying to get me a moment ago?’
  • We swap lanes in traffic jams – even though we know that there is an eternal law that the lane we have just joined will now move more slowly than the lane we have just left.
  • When driving down motorways we are constantly working out complicated mathematical sums: ‘Stoke-on-Trent is ninety miles. If I drive at ninety miles per hour it will take me an hour. If I drive at one hundred and eighty miles an hour it will take me half an hour. If I drive at seventy miles an hour… no, that’s too difficult.’
  • We hate stopping for petrol. Why do we hate it so much? It’s because when we pull in the service station we look out over the road and see all the cars and lorries we had overtaken going past.

Source: Quoted by Nicky Gumbel in The Jesus Lifestyle, 2010, London: Alpha International, p.177

There is no such thing as “the rest of God” without opposition. – I once heard a story involving two artists who were asked to paint pictures of peace as they perceived it. One painted a quiet, still lake, far back in the mountains. The other painted a raging, rushing waterfall which had a birch tree leaning out over it with a bird resting in a nest on one of the branches. Which one truly depicts peace? The second one does, because there is no such thing as peace without opposition. The first painting represents stagnation. The scene it sets forth maybe serene; a person might be motivated to want to go there to recuperate. It may offer a pretty picture, but does it depict “the rest of God.”

Joyce Meyer

Note: Source: Joyce Meyer, Battlefield of the Mind, 1995, Oklahoma: Harrison House, p.127

Worry is like a rocking chair; Try as you might, it won’t get you anywhere.

Oswald Chambers wrote: “It is not only wrong to worry, it’s infidelity, because worrying means that we do not think God can look after the practical details of our lives.”

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest, (2000 edition), Worcester: Oswald Chambers Publications, p.150

Take yesterday’s worries and sort them all out,
And you’ll wonder whatever you worried about.
Look back at the cares that once furrowed your brow,
I fancy you’ll smile at most of them now.
They seemed terrible then, but they really were not,
For once out of the woods, all fears are forgot.

Anon

“Don’t worry that the world will end today: it’s already tomorrow in Australia!”

Charles M. Schultz (1922-2000), cartoonist and author of ‘Peanuts’

Worries are like babies, they grow larger when you nurse them.

When you are robbed by worry it is always an inside job.

Worry is the interest paid on trouble before it becomes due.

“There is a growing mountain of evidence to suggest that worry is the chief contributor to depression, nervous breakdowns, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and early death. Stress kills. I have never known a man to die from hard work but I have known a lot who died from worry!”

Dr Charles Mayo, of the famous Mayo Clinic

“Worry is the most popular form of suicide. It impairs appetite, spoils digestion, disturbs sleep, irritates disposition, weakens mind, warps character, saps bodily health and stimulates disease. Worry is the real cause of death in thousands of instances where some other disease is named on the death certificate.”

William George Jordan (1864-1928), writer

“O what peace we often forfeit,

O what needless pain we bear,

All because we do not carry

Everything to God in prayer.”

Joseph Medlicott Scriven, 1855

A sign outside a church read: “Don’t be anxious. Don’t let worry kill you off – let the church help you.”

Said the robin to the sparrow,
“Friend, I simply do not know,
Why the anxious human beings
Rush around and worry so.”

Said the sparrow to the robin,
“Friend, I think it must be,
That they have no heavenly Father
Such as you and me.”

Anon

Worry is essentially a control issue. It’s trying to control the uncontrollable. We can’t control the economy, so we worry about the economy. We can’t control our children, so we worry about our children. We can’t control the future, so we worry about the future. But worry never solves anything! It’s stewing without doing.

Rick Warren, Hard Questions, day 13 reading plan on YouVersion Bible app.

“Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10 NIV) The original Hebrew root of ‘Be still’ doesn’t mean “be quiet”; it means “let go.” Let go and know that I am God! Let go of trying to control your spouse! Let go of your worry about your finances! Let go of your unforgiveness! Let go of your past! Let go of what you can’t control – and rest in the knowledge that God is in control.

Sheila Walsh

Worry is like a distant hill
We glimpse against the sky.
We wonder how we ever will
Get up a hill so high.

Yet, when we reach the top, we see
The roadway left behind
Is not as steep and sheer as we
Have pictured in our mind. – Anon

When you worry, it says you think you can solve your own problems better than God can. But you were not built to handle problems in your own strength. You were created by God to be dependent upon Him; so bring Him your challenges in life and allow Him to help you with them. Can you imagine your life without worry? Why not start today to live a worry-free life? Ask the Lord to show you every time you are taking on care instead of casting it off. When He makes you aware of it, be willing to immediately cast it on Him—you will enjoy life so much more. After a period of time, you will actually find it difficult to worry! It just won’t suit you any longer. – Joyce Meyer

Source: Joyce Meyer, Power Thoughts Devotional on YouVersion, day 1of 14

The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:5-7 NIV

“Our worries are a bit like the birds of the air; you can’t prevent them from flying around your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.”

Martin Luther (1483-1546)

Jesus said, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

Matthew 6:27 NIV

“When the light of divine providence has once shone on a godly man, he is then relieved and set free not only from the extreme anxiety and fear that were pressing him before, but from every care… Ignorance of providence is the ultimate misery; the highest blessedness lies in knowing it… Providence gives incredible freedom from every worry about the future.”

John Calvin

The English word “providence” comes from two Latin words: video, “to see,” and pro, “before.” God in his wisdom” sees before,” that is, plans in advance and “sees to it” that his will is accomplished.

Source: The Transformation Study Bible, (NLT), Colorado USA: David C. Cook Publishers (2009), p.1077

“The Bible plainly states many different times, “Do not worry” (Matthew 6:34). And to do what the Bible says not to do is a sin, plain and simple.”

Paul J. Meyer

Paul J. Meyer, Unlocking Your Legacy, 2002, Chicago Illinois, Moody Press, p.216

“The best way to kill your worries is to work them to death.”

Napoleon Hill

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, but only saps today of its strength.”

A. J. Cronin

“When people know God, losses and ‘crosses’ cease to matter to them; what they have gained simply banishes these things from their minds.”

J. I. Packer

Do you have what’s been termed as ‘hurry-sickness’? Let’s see if you can relate to any of these symptoms. Someone has said:

John Ortberg suggests that if you have ‘hurry-sickness’ you are haunted by the fear that there are just not enough hours in the day to do what needs to be done. We will read faster, talk faster, and when listening, nod faster to encourage the talker to accelerate. We will find ourselves chafing whenever we have to wait. At a traffic light, if there are two lanes and each contains one car, we will find ourselves guessing – based on the year, make and model of each car – which one will pull away faster. At the supermarket, if we have a choice between two check-out lanes, we find ourselves counting how many people are in each line, and multiplying this number by the number of items in [their shopping trolley]. If we have a really bad case of hurry sickness, then even after we commit to a check-out queue we keep track of the person who would have been me in the other line. If we get through and the other person who would have been me is still waiting we are elated. Ha! We’ve won. But if the alter-me is walking out of the store and we’re still in line, we feel frustrated; depressed. If we can relate to any of those symptoms we have hurry sickness.

Source: John Ortberg. The Life You’ve Always Wanted, 2002, Michigan USA: Zondervan, p.79-80

“Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Jesus (Matthew 11:28)

Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.

Colossians 3:2