The Hazards of Worry

January 17, 2011

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. Philippians 4:6-7

Don’t be hijacked by anxiety or worry. Paul, who wrote two-thirds of the New Testament, understood how challenging life could be: “I have been very thoroughly initiated into the human lot with all its ups and downs” (Philippians 4:12 NEB [1]). But, even in the middle of challenge, we can reject anxiety and cast our worries and cares on God because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).

Worry will distract us from a single-minded faith focus. The book of James warns that a “double-minded man [is] unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8). Here are five points from author John Edmund Haggai about the dividing nature of worry:

Worry divides your feelings—causing your emotions to become uneven and volatile.

Worry divides your understanding—making your convictions lose their grounding, sapping you of confidence.

Worry divides your perception—meaning you are distracted and often fail to see the whole situation confronting you.

Worry divides your judgment—making your decision-making ill-informed and unreliable.

Worry divides your will—producing lethargy and dulling your ability to pursue your goals with confidence. —From the book “How to Win Over Worry” [2]

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8

Don’t let your feelings have the final say. It’s possible to throw off worry and stay faith-focused through high times and through hard times (Philippians 4:12-13). By taking everything to God in prayer, by maintaining a confession of thanksgiving, and by meditating on the good report, you can go through 2011 with renewed focus and walk in the next steps of what God has called you to.

God bless you in 2011,
Pastor Jeff

Copyright © 2010 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.* Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. [1] Scripture taken from the New English Bible. Copyright © 1961 by The Delegates of the Oxford University Press and The Syndics of the Cambridge University Press. [2] “ How to Win Over Worry.” Copyright © 2001/2009 by John Edmund Haggai. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon.