Confessions of a Worrier

I heard an old joke about worrying that I really like. I know that my worrying must work because 99% of the things that I worry about never happen.

So, obviously it’s my worrying that keeps these things from happening, right? That’s what it’s got to be right?

Or perhaps, it’s something else. Perhaps my worrying is my way of wanting control. My lack of trust. My lack of faith.

I confess to you that I’m a worrier. I come from a family or worrier. It’s just what we do. We worry.

I worry about things that I can control. I worry about things that I can’t control. I worry about myself. My family. My church. My friends. I worry.

So, even if you don’t need to hear this passage this morning – I do. Listen to what Jesus says today in Matthew 6:31-34:

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God 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.

It’s kind of like we talked about yesterday, are we focusing on the things that are eternal and will last, or are we focusing on the things that are temporary and that are passing? Are we worrying about the things that are fleeting and passing, or are we seeking God’s kingdom first.

If we seek God’s kingdom first, seek His will first, seek His way first, seek Him first, we will find the things that we worry about are filled.

But, if we just worry. And worry. And worry. And worry. And don’t seek God, we will not find what we are worrying about. And we won’t find Him either.

Today, don’t worry. I know. I know. This is a pot calling the kettle black situation. I know. But trust me. Seek His will. Seek His way. Seek Him. And He will take care of the rest.

Seek the kingdom first. And all these things will be added. That’s His promise. Let’s trust in it today.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.

Help my Unbelief

Yesterday I reflected a little on worry.  Worry is something that I deal with A LOT myself. I spent most of yesterday worrying and fretting over a bunch of stuff when the Lord reminded me, hey dude, you need to listen to the things that you tell other folks.

I’m the kind of guy that Lord doesn’t always whisper to. Sometimes He has to smack me on the head.

And today, the Lord maybe continuing His smacking on the head, to me, if to no one else. I was reading today in Mark, and I read this passage:

“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”

Worry, to me, is so closely tied to doubt.  I worry when I doubt something will work out ok. I worry when I feel like a situation is out of my control and I doubt that anything can be done about it.

Worry seems to thrive off of doubt. Doubt seems to the oxygen to worry’s fire.  Worry seems to be fed and driven by doubt.

When there is no doubt, through, there would not be as much worry. Without that doubt, worry would become less.

So, what is the opposite of doubt?  Faith.  Faith drives out doubt. Faith drives out worry.

And so, look at this passage today, with a verse that I love. Lord I believe, help my unbelief.  None of us have as much faith as we ought to have. None of us are exactly where we ought to be in our walk.  None of us are perfect.  That’s ok.

Lord we do believe.  Help our unbelief.  Help us have more faith.  More trust.  More confidence in your plan.

Today, we believe.  We have faith. We have trust. Today, may we have MORE faith and trust.

Today, we believe.  Today, may the Lord help our unbelief.

Don’t Worry About It

Don’t worry about it. That’s one of my favorite phrases.  The other may be “it is what it is.”  Or I guess “Hotty Toddy.”  One of those is definitely my favorite phrase!

I say don’t worry about it to a lot to people. I say it in meetings when we are thinking through a situation. I say it when I’m talking to people about situations they are going through. I say to family when we are a looking towards the future. I say it a lot.

And I mean it too. When I tell people not to worry about it, I mean that, I believe that, and I trust it be true.

I just wish I could do a better job of not worrying about it myself. I’m a worrier.  But, at least I get it honest.  My mama is, and her mama was, and I guess in our family it’s just a family tradition.

That’s why reading verses like this one of our Philippians 4 is always such a good reminder to me:

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

We can’t “will” ourselves to not worry.  Not worrying comes through prayer. By giving everything to God, we experience God’s grace. And in receiving that grace, we find that peace guards our hearts, and we don’t have anything to worry about.

So, the first step shouldn’t be “don’t worry about it.” The first step should be “take to God in prayer.” And when we take it to Him in prayer, we find grace.

And grace brings about peace.

And peace keeps us from worry.

So, today, don’t worry about it. But, before you can do that, take it to God in prayer.  And through that prayer, we will find all that we ever need.

For every last worry.

Don’t Worry About It

We live in a celebrity obsessed culture. With the internet, with TV, with all the different forms of media, people are famous today for simply being famous.

We live in a time when it seems that that more that people do wrong, the more fame they receive. We live in a time when seems like the surest what to get ahead is to be the baddest person. It can seem that it’s tough out there to get by when doing what is right. When seeking what is good. When trying to live a pure life.

It seems like evil gets ahead. Like wrong triumphs.  Like good losses.

And not just on the news. Or in the papers.  Or on the internet. But in our own lives. We see those that are doing things that we KNOW are wrong, we seem them get ahead. We see them “grow.” And we get frustrated. And we wonder what’s the point of trying to be good and righteous.

So did David. And to paraphrase what we wrote in Psalm 37, don’t worry about it:

Don’t worry about the wicked
or envy those who do wrong.
For like grass, they soon fade away.
Like spring flowers, they soon wither.
Trust in the Lord and do good.
Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him, and he will help you.

Don’t worry about the ways of the famous. Don’t worry about the ways of the wicked. Don’t worry about the ways of others.

God’s got this.  Let Him worry about.

What are you to worry about?

Not other people. Not their actions.  Not their ways.  Not their fame.  Worry about following God. Worry about being faithful. Worry about seeking Him. Worry about knowing Him. Worry about that.

If we seek after God with all that we have, we will find all that we need.

Sometimes, we need to turn off the TV, unplug the radio, and (dare I say it) get off Facebook.

Leave the world alone.  Leave the actions of others alone. And worry not about your wo

First Things First

We live in a busy world.  Now, it is summer, so things, at times, may be a little slower. But, by and large, the world we live in is pretty busy. There always seems to be something coming up next we have to worry about. Something next we have to do. Something next that demands our time and our attention.

And, because there is always something to worry about and focus on, we only have so much ability to focus and think through things.  There’s only so much mental focus that we have. Eventually we will lose it.

So, what’s first?  In your life, with all that you’ve got going on, all that you’ve got to focus on, what’s first? What takes the priority in your mind for what to focus on?  Listen to Jesus’ words of advice this morning:

And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.

Jesus reminds us to keep the first things first.  Focus on what matters.  Focus on what is truly most important.

The Father knows we need things to live.  He knows we need food and drink.  He knows we need the basics of life.  He is aware of that. He hasn’t forgotten.  He knows.

And He will take care of us.  He will not leave or forsake us.  He knows our needs and will provide our daily bread.

So don’t worry about it. As much as we may want to. As much as we can’t help it. As hard as it may be.

Don’t worry about it.

Keep first things first. Keep your focus on Him.  Chase after God.  Keep your mind on the things of God today.  Make Him your priority.  Make Him first.

And He will take care of the rest.

Don’t Worry

Today, don’t worry.

I don’t know about the be happy part. That may depend on how much coffee you get this morning as to whether are not you are happy. But, you don’t have to worry.

Listen to what Paul writes to us in Philippians 4:6 this morning:

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

Great words, powerful words. Words we need to hear! don’t worry about anything!  Big or small.  Important or unimportant.  Don’t worry about it!

Well that was easy!  I guess we are all done!

Wait, you mean there’s more? That’s right. Don’t worry about it.  Instead, pray about it.

I like to joke that the reason I worry so much is that it makes me feel productive. If I’m worrying, I’m able to “do” something.  If I’m worrying, I feel like I’m doing my part to help God out.  He takes care of  it all and I worry. We’re partners that way!

Paul tells us not to worry. And to do our part. Pray.

See, when we take time to stop worrying and start praying, we find something. We find that we don’t need to worry. Because of all the things that prayer does, perhaps the most amazing thing that it does is this – it draws us closer to God.

And when we are drawn close to God, we find this out.  We really don’t have to worry.

Because God is good. And God is with us. And God will never leave not forsake us. And, as corny as it sounds, we don’t have to worry about.  Because God is for us. So, who can be against us.

And have peace and hope and joy and peace.

But, this all comes, only when we take it God in prayer.

Today, don’t worry.  Pray. And in prayer, you’ll find that, in the end, you’ve got nothing to worry about anyway.

Don’t Worry About it

First, two points of personal privilege, if you’ll allow.

Today is my 10th wedding anniversary.  Ten years ago Holly made me the luckiest man on the face of the earth.  I don’t know what I did right to deserve her and what she did wrong to be stuck with me 🙂

Second, because of that, I’m doing something I hate to do. Next Monday – Friday we are going to take a trip. I hate traveling, but I love my wife. So, no devotionals next week. We’ll start back the following Monday.

Today’s reflection could really just be scripture.  There’s nothing more I can really add to something as powerful as Psalm 37.  Listen to these words:

Don’t worry about the wicked
or envy those who do wrong.
For like grass, they soon fade away.
Like spring flowers, they soon wither.
Trust in the Lord and do good.
Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.

Good stuff.

Don’t worry about “them.”  Or whatever “they” are doing. Don’t worry about the wicked.  Don’t worry about their lives and what happens.

The Lord sees them. The Lord sees us.  The Lord sees all.

Don’t live your life with eyes focused on other people.  Don’t live your life with your eyes focused on “them.”  Live you life with your eyes focused on God.  Live your life with your eyes, your heart, your soul, all that you are, focused on God.

On knowing Him.

Serving Him.

Seeking Him.

Living for Him.

Don’t worry about what other folks are living for, what they are chasing, what they are choosing. The Lord knows. The Lord is aware.

Don’t worry about it.

Today, and each day, seek after God.  Live for Him. Chase after Him.  Follow Him.

And He will take care of you. You can trust after Him. Today, and each day.