Thursday, October 1, 2015

Philippians 4

Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. 
Philippians 4:6-7 MSG
I love this passage of scripture transliterated in The Message.  It makes it pretty clear that worry is not something a Christian should do.
The wife of a Federal District Court Judge found the perfect green tie to match one of her husband’s sport coats a clearance sale.  A little later, the couple was relaxing at a resort to get his mind off a complicated cocaine conspiracy case.  He noticed a small round disc sewn into his tie. He thought it was suspicious and called the local FBI, who was equally suspicious that it might be a bug planted by the conspiracy defendants.  The agent sent the device to FBI headquarters in Washington, DC, for analysis.  A few days later the judge phoned Washington to find the results of the tests. He was told, “We are not sure where the disc came from, but we discovered that when you press it, it plays Jingle Bells.” 
Quite often we find ourselves worried about matters that we need not worry about at all. As Mark Twain said, “I am an old man and have known many troubles, but most of them never happened.”  There have been repeated studies that show that most of the things we worry about are not legitimate worries.  What they discovered was that only 2% of the things we worry about are real and 98% of the things we worry about are a complete waste of time and fruitless. 
What do we mean when we talk about worry?  The Greeks thought of worry as something that tears a man in two and drags him in opposite directions.  The Latin word suggests a turbulent force responsible for turmoil within.  The Anglo-Saxon word is descriptive of a power gripping a man by the throat as a wolf seizes a sheep and strangles all the vitality out of it.  The term “anxiety” comes from the same root as anger and suggests the idea of choking. 
In Philippians 4:6 in the KJV we read, “Be careful for nothing.”  The word “careful” means “to be anxious.”  It is a command not to be worried.  The force of the words is that we are to stop worrying and we are not to worry about one thing.
How sad that we continue to allow ourselves to participate in such a damaging action!  The work of worry makes us feel that we are accomplishing something therefore we put more and more energy into it.  We even recruit others to join us and trouble their lives while neglecting the real action of faith that can overcome our worries.
William G. Channon said: “Worry is entirely unscriptural. As Christians we have taken the precepts of the Scripture for our standard of living. We look upon the Bible as our final court of appeals in all life’s details. Who can deny that within its pages no warrant is found for worrying?”  Don’t waste today worrying about what you cannot change from the past or what might happen in the future.  If you are ok at the present, trust God to keep you that way in the tomorrows of life.

Scripture to Claim
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.  Colossians 3:15 NASB

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