Matthew 6:25 (NRSV)
Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, 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?”
Extended quote from Freedom from Worry by Patricia Wilson
An old Swedish proverb says “Worry gives small things a big shadow.” It’s these “big shadows” that hang over your head like a great gray cloud of doom, gloom, and negativity. You may not realize it, but people around you can see that big shadow over your head because of how they feel when they are with you. As you worry and fret, your negativity takes the joy out of any moment and casts a stifling pall of unhappiness over any situation. …Sadly, the biggest shadows are usually created by the smallest worries built up in your mind. From a lost item to a blister on your big toe, those little worries compound in your mind until you feel overwhelmed and powerless. Corrie ten Boom writes, “Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made a burden.” Paul said much the same thing: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6). Note that Paul couples thanksgiving with prayer. As your little worries begin to build up into big shadows, consider the ways in which God has blessed you. With the thought of those blessings in your mind, present your worries to God in prayer. Most importantly, remind yourself that no worry is too small for prayer.
When we ask why in our prayers, we have somehow recognized that we are permitted to bring every question, every issue, every confusion, and every struggle to God. We may not understand what’s going on, but God knows that we cannot pray authentically unless we can honestly express every thought and emotion.
– Steve Harper, Talking in the Dark: Praying When Life Doesn’t Make Sense
Sometimes it’s good to let them see you sweat even when it feels awkward. Fear seems to grow in the darkness of isolation. But when you expose it in the light of community, it tends to lose power. Sharing my fear is often the path that leads to courage. – Emily Freeman, Why You Need to Tell Someone How Scared You Are
No matter what you call it, worry is still sin. In Philippians 4:6, Paul tells us not to be anxious about anything. Romans 14:23 says, “Everything that does not come from faith is sin.” That’s pretty clear to me. Worry is the opposite of faith; therefore, it’s sin…. Worry, in essence, is the sin of distrusting the promises and the power of God. It’s choosing to dwell on, to think about, the worst-case scenario. It’s faith in the bad things rather than faith in God. – Craig Groeschel, The Christian Atheist: When You Believe in God But Live as if He Doesn’t Exist
Faith, as we see in the Hebrew Scriptures and Jesus’ usage of the same, is much closer to our words “trust” or “confidence” than it is about believing doctrines to be true (which demands almost no ego surrender or real change of the small self). We have wasted too many centuries now defending such an intellectual notion of Biblical faith. Real faith people are, quite simply, usable for larger purposes because they live in and listen to a much Larger Self.- Richard Rohr
The older I get, making sure all my “beliefs” of God are lined up as they should be loses more and more of its luster. I see the Bible focusing a lot more on something far more demanding: trust. Try it. Which is harder to say? I believe in God or I trust God? I see a huge difference between “I believe in a God who cares for me” and “I trust God at this particular moment.” The first is a bit safer, an article of faith. The latter is unnerving, risky–because I have let go. You’ve all heard of the “trust fall.” There’s a reason they don’t call it a “belief fall.” Belief can reside in our heads. Trust is doing it, risking it. Trust is humility, putting ourselves in the hand of another. Trust requires something of us that belief doesn’t. – Peter Enns, Why I Don’t Believe in God Anymore
Luke 12:25 CEB
Who among you by worrying can add a single moment to your life?
Prayer: Free Me From Worry
Author of Life and New Life
Free me from worry
Break the chains of discouragement
Loose the doors of perspective
That I may follow your Son on the path of purpose and hope
For a worship resource entitled Trusting God’s Provision, based on Matthew 6:25 and following, click here
For a devotion entitled Psalms for Fearful Times, click here
Prayer: Free Me from Worry © 2013 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia.
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