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Posts Tagged ‘1 Peter 5:7’

Worry Is A Waste

May 17th, 2017

Worry is a waste of time and energy

 “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.” Philippians 4:6 NLT

My thoughts and comments today are that, worry is a waste.”

Years earlier, I learned a helpful prayer, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things that I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” Accept, or change. Worry is the destroyer of serenity, and never a viable option.

Apprehension is the implied belief that God either doesn’t care or is unable. Worry adds nothing of value and depletes so much that is helpful and healthful. Admittedly, there are plenty of things that cause worry. Anxious thoughts are the product of majoring on matters you do not control and cannot change. God is in control and He can be trusted to care for the things that concern you. Until and unless you come to peace with that knowledge, you will remain vulnerable to worry and the anxiety that results. Let me suggest some practical things about worry.

Worry is unhelpful. Worry does not work. Here is the unpleasant reality, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always gotten.” Worry is wearying to body, soul, and spirit, producing feelings of mental, emotional, and spiritual futility. Worry never solves a problem nor changes a circumstance. It neither changes the past nor controls the future. Logically, if worry doesn’t work, why waste time and energy worrying?

Worry is unrealistic. Worry exaggerates any problem. Worry is never in proportion to reality. It takes a minor, but real, concern and makes it major. Worry magnifies a problem, distorts reality, exaggerates emotions, while achieving nothing productive. Worrying about something you cannot change is futile. Worrying about something you can change is stupid; just change it. Either way, don’t worry! Valuable, emotional energy is better expended elsewhere?

Worry is unhealthy. Worry distresses you physically. Worry causes ulcers, tension headaches, stomach distress, and insomnia while you continually worry without relief. It makes you both unhappy and unhealthy. The root of the word is, “to strangle, to choke.” That well describes what results. Life and its joy are seriously diminished by anxiety. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.” Philippians 4:6-9 NLT.

Worry is unnecessary. Your Heavenly Father cares for you. “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 NKJV. God does more than care about you; He provides ample care for you. Consider Jesus’ words about His Father’s care for you. “Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Read Matthew 6:25-34 NIV.

Today, I pray for you to choose for your days to be carefree, fruitful, and fulfilling.                    

Christian Communications 2017

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Tiredness

February 9th, 2017

Exertion is not the only cause of exhaustion

My thoughts and comments today consider, “tiredness.”

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 NLT

Being tired is tiresome. Tiredness seems more pandemic than at any time I recall. In today’s high stress and success driven society, burnout is an undeniable fact. If all weariness was only physical tiredness, a nap or a good night’s rest would be a remedy. Exertion is not the only cause of exhaustion. And rest is not always the solution. Feelings of exhaustion can come from less obvious sources also. Mental tiredness may result from too many demands on your thought or attention. Anxiety is tiring, producing emotional tiredness. Worry is exhausting, as is fearfulness. Spiritual weariness from a restless soul is even worse. Disobedience is draining. “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” James 4:17. Sin is debilitating, even self-destructive.

Just as busyness is not always productive, idleness does not cure tiredness. A person soon tires of doing nothing. You were not created to only work, nor to remain idle. Life has a rhythm – work and rest, activity and inactivity, productivity and replenishment. At creation, God Himself modeled the helpful and healthful rhythm of work and rest. “By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done.” Genesis 2:2-3 NIV. Those are not exactly equal parts, but they certainly are equally important parts.

Discover that rhythm and you will have all the strength and energy that you need. Ignore that balance and life doesn’t work as well for you, no matter how much you want or need it to do so. “Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, Jesus said to them, ‘Come with Me to a quiet place and get some rest.’” Mark 6:31 NIV. Even though they were involved in good things, that was not enough to make it good for them. Do you ever identify with what the disciples must have felt?

I heard a person announce, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.” If that could be you, life will only change for you when you finally tire of being tired; only then will you make the necessary adjustments for that to change. David, the Shepherd and Psalmist had it right; “[The Lord] makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul.” Psalm 23:2-3 NKJV. When you most feel like you cannot afford to take time off is often the time you cannot afford not to do so. Rest is wise when you are weary, indicating neither weakness nor a waste of time. The price that is exacted from marriages, personal relationships, quality of life, and spiritual fulfillment is inestimable. Don’t be a statistic. “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 NKJV.

I think you can trust the Creator to know what works best with His creation. “Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.’” Matt 11:28-30 NLT.

Today, I pray for you to do God’s work God’s way so you will have God’s blessing.

Christian Communications 2017

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God Cares

December 6th, 2016

Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 NKJV.

My thoughts and comments today are that God cares.”

People won’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.

When I was fresh out of Bible College and in my first years of ministry, my friend and a seasoned pastor, Kenny, offered me some priceless advice. His exact words were these, “Allen, people won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” That is an incredible truth for all relationships – marriage, parenting, friendship, business, and especially pastoring. After more than fifty years of pastoring now, I still believe that may have been some of the most important and practical counsel I ever received.

I well remember a particular Mother’s Day service. I was standing near the entrance when a friend entered, took my hand and simply said, “Pastor, would you pray for me today?” Not an altogether unusual request normally, but as I held her hand and saw the pain in her eyes, I knew this was much more than a simple request. Her eyes were red and moist from tears. When I asked, “What’s wrong?” her story tumbled out. The night before her son, a pedestrian, was hit by a car. He died along the roadside. Her words were, “I knew this is where I needed to be this morning.” She didn’t come for a sermon or songs; she came for the comfort of those she knew would care about her and begin the healing of her unbearable pain. In reflection of her words, I am reminded of my friend’s advice, “People won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

A lack of practical caring can create an unrecognized distance between yourself and others. Caring may begin as an emotion, but must become so much more. When Jesus was asked to explain how to, “love your neighbor as yourself,” He told a wonderful story that is called, The Good Samaritan. Read Luke 10:25-37 NKJV. A traveler was attacked by thieves – beaten, robbed, and left helpless and suffering. Sad to say, two religious people sympathized with this stranger’s dilemma but hurried on their way without bothering to help.

Sympathy for others must extend empathy toward others. Soon after, when the Samaritan saw the fellow traveler, beaten and robbed by thieves, he empathized with his misfortune. “When he saw him, he had compassion.” The Samaritan identified with a stranger’s distress when he realized it could just as easily have been himself, accosted and left helpless. Then his emotion turned to practical actions; he got involved.

Caring is a benevolence that notices and responds to another’s need in meaningful ways. “So he went to him, bandaged his wounds, set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.” And at personal, financial expense, he arranged for ongoing care until he was well. Caring is costly and inconvenient. Caring will cost you time, expense, and involvement.

Peter gave this instruction, Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about what happens to you.” 1 Peter 5:7 NIV. It can be challenging to trust your cares and concerns to God unless you know assuredly that He cares for you as truly as His Word says. And at times, it is hard for others to understand how much God cares unless they experience God’s love being expressed through you and others.  “That the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with them; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with them.” 1 Corinthians 12:25-26 NKJV. Remember my friend’s advice, “People won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Today, I pray for you to transfer all your concerns into your Savior’s care.

Christian Communications 2016

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Will You Trust Me, CHawley

Will You Trust Me, C. Hawley

Will You Trust Me  by Cliff Hawley, Artist

My gratitude to Cliff Hawley for his permission for EDL to use this inspiring piece of Christian Art. I have personally known the artist for more than 40 years and served as his pastor for a major part of those years. If you would like to view or purchase any of Mr Hawley’s Christian art, I refer you to view his work at his website, CHawley.com.

 

 

 

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Worry and Fear

September 11th, 2014

“Casting all your cares upon Him for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 NKJV.

Unattended, worries and cares ultimately become anxieties and fears.

My thoughts and comments today are about “worry and fear.”

This date seems to have permanently marked our national consciousness. With the horrific and sobering terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the American assumption of safety and invincibility was sorely shaken. The national psyche was greatly changed and this date has become a metaphor for anxieties and fears. Daily life has been forever altered; borders are seen as vulnerabilities. We feel less safe in our cities or homes. Those insecurities added worries and cares where we previously gave little thought. Yet today, no one enters an airport without some measure of anxiety, if only from the added security procedures necessitated. Again, our world finds itself dealing with extreme religious and ideological differences that threaten our safety.

Whatever the calendar date or international tensions, everyday life holds uncertainties. Worries and cares are not reserved for major events. “Do not worry about your life . . who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” Read Matthew 6:25-34 NIV. Worry is an exercise in futility.In the classic children’s book, Winnie the Pooh, by A.A. Milne, there is a character, Eeyore, who is generally characterized as pessimistic, gloomy, and depressed. Eeyore always expected the worse, assuming to foresee anything that could go wrong. Learn from Eeyore; that is a sad and unhappy way to live, for you and others around you. Unattended, worries and cares ultimately become anxieties and fears.

I am not certain how much difference, if any, there is between worries and cares. Both obviously refer to concerns that are unsettling to one’s thoughts and emotions, and they could and would share a common origin. For my purposes, I differentiate this way. Cares are worries that refuse to be resolved or released.

Whether it is worry at the moment or cares that become more rooted with each day, both are disquieting to your spirit and destructive to peace of mind. No one is completely free from them, but there is something you can do about them, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God that surpasses all comprehension shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NAS.

What will you do with your worries and cares? For either or both, God’s answer is simple, “Casting all your every care upon Him for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7. It really is that easy. Give it away. Your heart doesn’t need it; your friends don’t want it. God will take it. In Paul’s classic discussion of God’s love, he wrote, “I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from His love . . Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away.” Romans 8:38 NLT.

Today, my prayer for you is to know that God cares for you and everything you care about.

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Breaking Points

April 11th, 2014

“We should trust not in ourselves but in God who raises the dead.” 2 Corinthians 1:9 NKJV.

A breaking point may actually become your breakthrough.

My thoughts and comments today are about “breaking points.”

Breaking points are times when you come up empty – no further resources, no fresh ideas, no better options, and you are left with nothing in reserve, financially, mentally, emotionally, or physically. At the end of yourself, you will meet God there. You are not alone. The prophet Elijah was at a breaking point – in fear for his life, fleeing from an angry monarch, drained physically, feeling alone and abandoned, and wishing to die. Read 1 Kings 19:1-20 NIV. Elijah was empty and exhausted – disappointed with people, discouraged by threats to his safety, and depressed about the future. That’s what a breaking point looks like – until you meet God there. Let’s consider some practical truths for such moments.

Quitting is not an option. If you think giving up is a viable option, you will eventually find an excuse to do so. My dear friend, Kenny, often reminded me and others, When you find yourself at the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hold on tightly till help comes. The Bible says, “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:35-36 NKJV. Perseverance is a virtue. “Let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us . . do this by keeping your eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish . . so that you do not become weary and give up.” Hebrews 12:1-4 NLT.

Don’t pick up what is not yours to carry. Over-involvement in too many things or assuming too much responsibility for too many people soon becomes an unbearable burden. Keep the load light, and remember, As your days so shall your strength be.  Deuteronomy 33:25 NKJV. Jesus will give you wisdom and daily strength if you, “[Cast] all your care on Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 NKJV.

A breaking point may become a breakthrough. Paul found the renewed strength and assurance he needed, when at his own breaking point God said, “My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.” Read 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NLT. That discovery is life changing when embraced in faith. Read Hebrews 11:32-35 NLT. In God, your breaking point may be preparing you for a breakthrough. When you can’t be strong, let God be strong in you.

With a future dire and uncertain, Paul affirmed this practical, liberating truth, “We were burdened above measure, beyond strength, so that we despaired even of life. We had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should trust not in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in Whom we trust He will still deliver us.” 2 Corinthians 1:8-10 NKJV. Think about your Heavenly Father as, “God who raises the dead.” If God can do what is impossible, the most extreme circumstance can still be alive with hope. “What is impossible from a human perspective is possible with God.” Luke 18:27 NLT.

My prayer for you today is that you are always preparing yourself for a breakthrough.

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