Worry Does not Work

“Worry is easier not to start than trying to stop, once you have begun.”

Why would anyone keep trying something that doesn’t work? But we do; we all do. Well, worry is one of those things that you will do even if it doesn’t do any good – doesn’t change anything – doesn’t make anything easier – doesn’t make you feel better. You know what? I have found that is easier not to start a habit than to try to stop it once you have begun. Worry is like that. Jesus’ advice is, “Do not start worrying!” You won’t struggle to stop what you never start.

There are times you will find it hard not to start worrying. And right now seems like one of those times for many people. For too many months, the news doesn’t get any brighter. Declining home values. Rising number of foreclosures. Failing of mortgage companies. Falling stock market values. Decreasing investment and retirement accounts. Growing government bail out funds. The news isn’t good, and its effect is more and more far reaching. But can that be fixed with worry? Can anything, big or small, be changed by your worry?

Can you remember what you worried about a month ago? A week ago? Yesterday? You would remember, in fact you could not forget, if what you were worrying about yesterday had actually happened, as you feared it might. So much worry is needless. People worry about the past that they cannot change, or the future that they cannot control. Worry comes from your feeling helpless to control or change things about which you are concerned. That’s God’s job!

Jesus said that most worry is about fear of not having enough, being secure, or what might happen tomorrow. The first are needless because “Your Father knows what you need” (Matthew 6.32-33), and the latter is pointless because tomorrow is safely in God’s hands. See Matthew 6:34 NLT.

Strength and provision are daily, their sufficiency measured to the demands of that day alone. None can be stored in reserve from yesterday, nor afford to be spent on tomorrow. “As your days are, so shall your strength be . . I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor His seed begging bread.” Deuteronomy 33.25/ Psalm 37:25. God is the same – gracious, generous and faithful each day – always has been, always will be.

The Bible’s invitation is, “Give all your cares and worries to God, for He cares what happens to you.” 1 Peter 5.7 NLT. How do you do that? “Rejoice in the Lord always; I will say it again, rejoice! . . Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses everything will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4.4-7. Worry doesn’t work, but prayer and trust do. Try it, and see for yourself!

The antidote for worry in the above verses is simple: (1) worry about nothing – (2) pray about everything – (3) be thankful always – (4) keep His peace in your heart and mind. You can worry, or you can talk to God about it; it’s hard to do both successfully.

My prayer for you is: never start something you didn’t wish to continue when you began.

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