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Overcoming Worry - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
December 7, 2023 12:00 am

Overcoming Worry - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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December 7, 2023 12:00 am

We have no need to worry because we are the children of a loving God.


Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Thursday, December 7th. As the end of another year nears, it's normal to feel concern about the future. But God doesn't intend for anxiety to overshadow you. Today's podcast gives practical insight into overcoming worry. What do you worry about most in life? Is it your health? Your marriage?

Your children? Maybe you worry most about what other people think about you. Maybe it's because you're worried because you don't know what God thinks about you and you're concerned about that.

Maybe it's your finances. What is it that you worry about most? Do you know why you worry? You see, there's one thing to be concerned about things, to have a genuine sense of responsibility, to be concerned about things, things that need to be corrected. But worry is something more than that. And what I want to talk about in this message is this. Not some pie in the sky kind of possibility.

I want to talk about a legitimate, genuine, real, practical, effective way to overcome worry in your life. You do not have to worry. It is not the will of God. It is not the plan of God.

You say, but you don't know my circumstances. I know that God knows them. And because He does know them, He would not say, do not worry, do not worry, do not worry, if He intended for us to worry. So what we want to talk about is this. How do we overcome worry in our lives? How do we dispense with it?

How do we put it aside? And so I want you to turn, if you will, to Matthew chapter six, the Sermon on the Mount. And I want us to read the twenty fifth through the thirty fourth verses. And in this passage, Jesus gives us some arguments of why we should not worry.

And it's interesting also that one of His methods of teaching was repetition. And so in this passage, you'll find six times He talks about worry, three times He makes the statement, do not worry, do not worry, do not worry. And so what you have to ask is this, if He said, do not worry, is that what He meant?

I think it is. Secondly, if He said, do not worry, does that mean that He will enable us to so live our lives? We don't have to worry.

Yes, that's true. So let's look at this passage and then think about it. What are you worried about today? Have you ever thought about the consequences that your worrying is having in your life and upon your life? So beginning with this twenty fifth verse, Matthew chapter six, listen to what He says.

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? So He's asking the question. Look at the birds of the air that they do not sow nor reap nor gather into barns. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?

And then He says, 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? O you of little faith, do not worry then, saying, What shall we eat or what should we drink or what should we wear for clothing? For the Gentiles, that is, those who are unbelievers, 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. Now, when you think about worry, what do you think about?

The very word itself means to be drawn apart. The very word for anxiety here and care and worry, all the same Greek word. So we become anxious, we become worried, we begin to care, not just gentle careness, but these are cares that bear down upon us. And so what we have to ask is, why do we worry? Well, certainly worry is the result of a faith failure. That is, if I'm not placing my trust in Him, I'm going to worry.

Let me just say this. If you've never trusted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you have a lot of legitimate reasons to be worried, to be anxious, to be fearful. Because you see, you never know how long you're going to live, what's going to happen to you.

You never know what may happen to you, what kind of disease you could catch, what may happen to your financial, what about your job. You have lots of reasons to be worried if you're not a believer in Jesus Christ. Because you see, what I'm about to show you here and to share with you is this. These are promises. These are words that Jesus spoke to those who were following Him, who trusted Him, who believed in Him.

And so therefore, He was saying to them three times, do not worry, do not worry, do not worry. He would never have said that if He intended for those who follow Him to be worriers. Now, there's a difference in being a believer in Jesus and a follower. And so what you have to ask yourself is this. Am I just one of those persons who just believes in Him? I've trusted Him as my Savior and I'm forgiven of my sin. But am I a follower?

Do I want to know His will, walk in His will, be obedient to Him and do the things that He would have us to do? Well, if you're a follower of Jesus Christ, worry doesn't fit who you are. Let's think about what is it that causes you to worry. You say, oh, I could think of a lot of things, but let's just think about it for a moment. Is it not true that one of the reasons that a person worries is because they face a circumstance in which they do not know what the outcome is going to be? And therefore, they worry about the outcome.

It could be one of a several things. All we worry because at times in our life, we feel out of control. And so since you can't control that particular circumstance, you begin to imagine all the things that could possibly happen. And so what happens is that Satan begins to cause you to doubt. He just attacks you.

He knows exactly when to attack you. He knows exactly when to fire one of those missiles of doubt that would cause you to doubt the fact that God even cares. One of the reasons we worry is because we don't know the Word of God. We don't know the promises.

We don't know what He says. We don't know God the way we ought to know Him, and so we worry. Sometimes because we don't know Him and because we don't know the Scriptures, we don't know His promises, what happens is we're in conflict with God. And so we have conflict with His way and His will and His purpose and His plan and His timing.

And so when we get into conflict with Him, then we worry because we think, well, am I pleasing God or am I not? And so there are lots of reasons people worry. And when I think about some of the things that I've heard oftentimes and the way people respond, somebody says, well, the reason I worry is because I've been through this once, and this is what happened the last time. Now I'm worried that the same thing is going to happen to me again. So they talk about their job, they talk about their finances, talk about their children.

Well, this is what happened to one of my children, and I'm afraid that this is the same thing is going to happen to him or to her. And so we can come up with all kinds of reasons to worry. Jesus said, do not worry, do not worry, do not worry. And so we say, well, I know that's what He says, and I believe what He says. So if I should say to you, would you not agree that the Bible says thou shalt not steal or you should not steal?

Would you say, yes, absolutely, you should not steal. You should not kill, absolutely you should not kill. Well, what about do not worry?

Oh, well, now let's talk about that a little bit. And what we want to do is we want to rationalize away what He says when He says to His followers, do not worry. One of the reasons we worry is because we listen to the wrong people and we listen to bad news and we listen to gossip. It's amazing that some people are chronic worries. They wake up worrying.

They live in the negative mood because they're worried about this and worried about that. And when you think about this, the society in the world we live in, we could think of a lot of things that would cause us to worry. We could think about war and bloodshed and crime and need and want and poverty and prejudice and you name it. We could have a nervous breakdown sitting in one spot thinking about all the things in the world that are not right.

Well, think about this. Jesus was not talking to a group of people who had it all together. And He's saying to them, do not worry, do not be concerned about these things, overly concerned, worrying about them. There must have been some reason that He knew that He could say to them, do not worry. Now you think about this, would God ever tell you to do something and He not empower you, enabled you to do what He asked you to do?

That would be a total contradiction to who God is. So whatever He requires of us, He's always there to enable us to do exactly what He says. So what He's saying to us is, listen, do not worry, step above that. Live above this anxiety and this worry and these cares you're carrying around. You're bringing tomorrow into your life and you don't even have it yet. You're dragging yesterday along behind you and you can't change yesterday and you can't do anything about tomorrow. And this is how people worry, they worry about what happened, they worry about what may happen, so they worry about the past, they worry about the future and all the things that could possibly happen. Why do people worry? And so what we have to ask is this, though there are lots of reasons, what we don't like to think about is what the consequences are.

Now think about this. There are lots of things that happen to people and they'll give you a reason why this is what I believe happened. There are many things that happened to us.

They begin in our lives as a result of us worrying about something, about somebody, some circumstance, what could possibly happen. And so it's not a way of life for a child of God. Listen, the truth is it doesn't fit who you are. You have the Heavenly Father. He's your God. He's in absolute control of all things.

You're one of His children. And He says He'll provide all of our needs from His riches and glory, not from our resources. And there are so many promises about His caring for us, His love for us.

He loves us unconditionally. And yet we worry and worry and worry and worry and we say, well, everybody worries is not going to hurt you to worry. Well, what I'd like to do is to show you what the consequences of worry are. And sometimes you may be hit something from the blind side and for those few moments you may think, well, what's going to happen? And this could happen and that could happen.

But you know what? That should only be momentary because you and I should know the key, listen, to banishing worry. The key, listen, to overcoming it.

The key to ridding our life of it. You do not have to live with worry. Now, I'll give you an example of something in my own life. I had my list of things I worried about just like you do. Do you know what I've worried about most of all in the past back yonder? When I think about the things that I worried about, well, surely I'm sure coming up in school I probably worried about whether I was going to pass or fail. But when I became a pastor, I started worrying about something else.

I wasn't worried about what people thought. You know what I worried about? And as hard as I studied and as much as I prayed, the one thing Satan would work me over with every single week was word that I won't be ready come Sunday morning. Now, I mean, ten years, fifteen years, twenty, twenty-five years of preaching the gospel and being ready Sunday after Sunday. And you know what? He hit me with that.

But every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, are you going to be ready? What I want you to see is this. It can happen to anybody. Now, does it have consequences?

Yes, it does. There are consequences going on in your life today as a result of worry. Now, one of them is very simple. So, I want to give you a list.

Now, watch this now. I want to give you the consequences and I want you to count them. Because anything that has this many negative consequences does not fit who you are as a child of God.

So, let's begin. One of the first consequences of worry is it divides your mind. When you start worrying about one thing and you have other things to do, what happens is your mind is divided. The second consequence is your emotions become fragmented.

You're feeling confident this moment and the next moment you feel fear. And so, you're back and forth, back and forth as a result of being worried. Your emotions get fragmented and you're not together. That's what the very word means, to be pulled apart.

And that's what happens. A third thing that happens is this, it drains your energy. If you think about emotionally, you can get yourself in such an emotional state that you have no energy left. When your mind is divided, your emotions are fragmented. What happens is there's an energy drain.

And as a result of an energy drain, what happens? You cannot perform at peak performance. You can't do your best when your mind is divided, your emotions are all stirred up and fragmented. And what happens is you lose your energy, you can't do your very best at whatever you do.

So, productivity goes down. We become irritable and we become angry. You have enough of that, enough worry. And so, well, Lord, I don't know why all these things are happening to me. And so, as a result of that, you begin to question whether God loves you or not. Well, God, if you love me, you wouldn't let this happen to me. God, if you love me, you change all of this. And so, then you sort of get down on God. Then you begin to doubt whether He loves you or not. And then what happens is your prayer life just takes a nose down.

Here's what you say. You say, well, why should I keep praying? God, I prayed and prayed and prayed and this thing hadn't changed.

Nothing's happened. God, I'm just, forget it, God. Just forget it. It's not that I'm not saved, God, I just forget it.

I can't answer my prayer. You don't, you're not paying me any mind. You can get yourself in a big mess. And when you get yourself in a mess with God, you're in a real mess.

When you tell Him you're not going to pray, you don't want to talk to Him anymore, He's not answering your prayer. And then what happens? When people begin to worry and become anxious enough, they've got to have something to help them. And there's so many millions and millions and millions of people who buy drugs week after week, whether it's a pharmacy or on the street corner somewhere, trying to get through, trying to deal with.

And you know what? Those things are not a solution. Or, for example, they want to get their mind off of it, been mistreated, whatever, they go and have some affair or some commit some sexual sin, get their mind, now you've got a major problem.

None of these things are solutions. And so what's the consequence? The consequence is what happens to your physical body.

Because we're in anxiety. And some of you can stand up and give testimonies, cause headaches. And what happens is this, get headaches, can't sleep. You keep at it and you'll have an ulcer. Then you have high blood pressure. Then you have a heart attack. You say, those things are not going to happen to me.

Here's what happens. There are many people who have all of that and who've had all of those things who will give you some other reason why they had it. It all begins oftentimes, not all the time, but oftentimes it all begins with worry, which causes tension and stress in the human body and what ulcers and high blood pressure and headaches and sleeplessness and heart attacks and whatever else can happen. You say, well, a little bit of worry never hurt anybody. You're not counting.

Count all the things that I've said so far. All of these things are realistic consequences, consequences of worry. And so, when you think about that, you think about things that are going to happen in your life, think about what happens to your emotions. In other words, you cannot worry and have peace at the same time. You can't be anxious and peaceful.

They don't fit at the same time. So, you lose your joy and your peace. You know what happens? Next thing you know, your center of interest has now become things. You want something to make you feel better.

If I go out and buy one of these, maybe one needs that. And so, what happens is the next thing you know, you find yourself in the circle of materialism. You find yourself in the circle of things. Well, if I have this and if I have, I will, I'll get over this.

This will help me if I have this. And you know what happens? That's why people get in debt. They pull out the credit cards to help them feel better. It is not a prescription for getting over anger or hostility or bitterness or simple worry.

It's not a solution to any of those things. And so, what happens? People get into it. They worry and fret and fume and cause tension and stress. The physical body can only stand so much of that.

Then it begins to react. And when you think about how wealthy this nation is and all the wealth of knowledge we have about medicine, we're one of the, one of the unhealthiest nations on earth compared to other nations our size. We're one of the most unhealthy. What is it that's causing it? Worry and stress and tension and all the things that happen, then after a while, they take their toll on the human body. They have a crippling effect. And so, you can't perform. You can't reach your peak.

You can't be the person God wants you to be. You lose your smile and you lose your joy. You lose your sense of contentment if you ever had any. And after a while, you know what happens?

You lose your testimony. Oh, you, are you a Christian? Why do you come to work every morning down in the mouth just worried about this? I thought God's supposed to answer your prayers.

Now, they may not say that to you, but they'll think it. Well, if you're a Christian and Jesus is everything you say He is, then suddenly He ought to be taking care of you and you're just fretting and fuming about life. Worry doesn't fit a child of God. If you're not a Christian, you have lots of things to worry about, fret about, become anxious about.

Lots of things to be fearful of in life. But if you're a child of God, He said do not worry, do not worry, do not worry. He didn't say it to make us feel good.

He said it because it is not necessary. It doesn't fit who we are as those who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, has forgiven us of our sins. Our name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

And God the Creator is our Heavenly Father who calls us His children and has committed Himself to taking care of us and given His whole Bible to us to remind us over and over and over again that He loves us, cares for us, and have no need to worry. Thank you for listening to Overcoming Worry. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by This podcast is the presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-07 03:42:09 / 2023-12-07 03:50:56 / 9

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