As I spend time with a brand new grand baby, Carrie Vipperman joins us today on Hungry For More. I always love to hear Carrie’s heart because it mirrors that of our Father. Today, she hits on a topic that we all deal with: worry.
I was convicted this weekend of something I had let into my life recently, and it wasn’t pretty. It’s a monster that eats away at your joy, your peace, your ability to see all that you have to be thankful for, and so much more.
This monster enslaves you, as all sin does.
You probably don’t instantly think of worry as a sin, as one of those many things in our life that nailed our sweet Jesus to the cross. So, I am going to ask you to rethink how casually we often take this sin.
The word “worry” is used 11 times in the New Testament. (Matthew 6:25-34, 10:19, 13:22, Mark 13:11, Luke 12:11, 22-29, 1 Corinthians 7:21) Eight of those times, the word is preceded by the same two words—“do not,” and the other 3 times it is used are not exactly an endorsement for it. So, if the phrase “do not worry” (or other equivalent phrases) shows up 11 times, I think that it is safe to assume that this is an sin we should take very seriously.
What are the issues in your life that cause you to worry? Finances? Family? Your job? Your spouses job? Decisions regarding how you should spend your time? Sickness? The possibilities are endless really. These are real issues, with very real problems, that we need to deal with!! Or do we? Do WE need to deal with these, or do we need to give them over to our Heavenly Father, who “knows that you need all these things,” (Matthew 6:32) so that HE can deal with them?
Let’s look at an example in the Old Testament. Abraham and Sarah were an elderly barren couple, who had been promised a child by God. The very belief that God would do this was credited to Abraham as righteousness.
However, this righteous man who had so firmly believed God’s promise to do the impossible, gave in to doubt and his wife’s worry that the promise would not be fulfilled, and in their doubt and worry, they developed a plan to get a child themselves.
Sarah gave Abraham her maid, Hagar, and he had a child with her. In their culture, because Hagar was Sarah’s slave, the child would be considered Sarah and Abraham’s son. Their solution to this problem only brought strife and hardship to their household. The Bible says that immediately after Hagar conceived, she was filled with contempt for her mistress, Sarah. This then led Sarah to mistreat Hagar. Eventually, after the birth of Sarah’s son, Isaac, Hagar and her son were forced out of the house.
So, the result of listening to their doubts and worry was strife and contempt in their household and eventually a mother and son being forced to live on their own. It doesn’t sound like their worrying helped them very much, huh?
When we can humbly accept that we belong to a mighty God, who is far more able to handle our problems, we can bring them to Him in prayer, freeing ourselves from the negative effects of worry. For me, this is often a moment by moment kind of prayer. I cannot just say a quick prayer in the morning and be free of worry and stress the rest of the day.
Rather, with each worrisome thought that comes to mind, I must force myself to hand it over in prayer to my Heavenly Father who knows exactly what I need. I must remind myself of the promises that He loves His children and will not give them a stone to eat when they are hungry for bread (Matthew 7:9). It is not a complicated process, but it is also not a natural one.
Will you join me this week in battling this monster, so that we can rest in the overwhelming peace that only God can give us?
“Jesus, may we “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 which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phillipians 4:6-7) Amen.”
Carrie and her husband, Vip.