Wallowing in Worry
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 (Is. 41:10).
Jesus knows His people wrestle with worry. In the “do not be anxious” portion of the sermon on the mount (Matt. 6:25-34), He closes with these words: “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (vv. 33-34). Herein is Jesus' cure for anxiety: (1) Make His kingdom and His righteousness your first goal and priority (v. 33). (2) Live one day at a time. A mind that races ahead to troubles that may never happen, or sinks morbidly in the difficulties of yesterday, is a mind "eat up" with worry. “He suffers more than necessary, who suffers before it is necessary.”–Seneca What makes worry so destructive? If I'm wallowing in the despair of yesterday or the potential pains of tomorrow, I will be mentally, emotionally, and spiritually crippled and ineffective. Even worse, I've forgotten the promise of the Lord–“I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb. 13:5). Pain and sorrow will never be completely removed in this life, but we can have joy and live boldly IN SPITE OF pain and sorrow. Why? For the Christian, today is contrasted against the regretful yesterdays that Jesus blotted out through forgiveness–"their sins and lawless deeds I will remember no more" (Heb. 10:17). For the Christian, today is adorned with Jesus' promise of a future with Him–free from the misery and pain of this life–"If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also" (Jn 14:3). Don't resign from today, but live today with assurance. Today is an opportunity full of challenge, meaning, and hope. The day of opportunity passes never to return. It is fleeting, so it must be used now, or it is lost forever. You and I are followers of Christ to the extent that we use today for Him. Forgetting the past, confident of the future, we press forward (Phil. 3:13-15). To press IS to ACT NOW. Christians live with urgency, but not frantically. Anxiety is a spiritual affliction rooted in a yesterday that we don't believe forgiven, or in a tomorrow that we think is bigger than God. At its heart is a refusal to trust Christ.