Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries
“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
One of the greatest thieves of real, abiding joy in our lives is worry. Worry can and will take its toll on us spiritually, emotionally, and physically. When we are worrying, we are not trusting God. It calls into question your profession of faith. Worry also can be devastating to one’s emotions and physical stamina. Every soul knows how difficult worry can be to overcome.
The Word of God has some helpful suggestions concerning worry. The Apostle Paul writes, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7). Paul’s words indicate that if we can learn to apply its Truths to our lives it will help us conquer worry, with one of the antidotes to worry being prayer – fervent, spiritual, faithful, persistent prayer.
If anyone had an excuse for worrying, it was the Apostle Paul (Philippians 4:2-3). His beloved Christian friends at Philippi were disagreeing with one another, and he was not there to help them. We have no idea what Euodia and Syntyche were disputing, but whatever the matter, it injected division into the church. Along with the potential division at Philippi, Paul had to face division among the believers at Rome (1:14-17). Added to these burdens was the possibility of his death. Despite Paul’s legitimate excuse to worry, amazingly he did not. Instead, he took time to explain to us the secret of victory over worry (v6).
To understand the antidote, it helps to know what worry is. The Greek word translated “anxious” in verse 6 means “to be pulled in different directions.” Our hopes pull us in one direction; our fears pull us the opposite direction and we are pulled apart like a wishbone. The Old English from which we get our word “worry” means “to strangle.” If you have ever really worried, you know how it strangles a person. In fact, worry has definite physical consequences – headaches, neck pains, ulcers, even back pains. Worry affects our thinking, our digestion, and even our coordination. Its consequences unfold slowly, but they can be catastrophic.
Worry is like an animal gnawing away at our hearts and minds. It can cause us great harm unless we put an end to it by elevating it to the God Most High. The following is an amusing, practical example.
Years ago, in the pioneer days of aviation, a pilot was making a flight around the world. Two hours after departing from his last landing field, he heard a noise in his plane, which he recognized as the gnawing of a rat. He realized that, while his plane had been on the ground, a rat had managed to sneak on board. His concern was the rat would gnaw through a vital cable or control of the plane. It was a very serious situation. He was both concerned and anxious.
At first, the pilot did not know what to do. It was two hours back to the landing field from which he had taken off and more than two hours to the next field ahead. Then he remembered the rat is a rodent. It is not made for the heights; it is made to live on the ground and under the ground. With this in mind, the pilot began to climb. He went up 1,000 feet, then another 1,000 feet and another until he was at an altitude of more than 20,000 feet. The gnawing ceased. The rat was dead. The rat could not survive in the atmosphere of those heights. More than two hours later the pilot brought the plane safely to the next landing field and removed the dead rat.
It is not normal to worry. Our LORD Jesus tells us it is fruitless to worry in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:25-34) and that our needs will be provided. In Psalm 55, David tells us to call upon the LORD, the One who can save us. “Cast your cares upon the LORD, and He will sustain you.” (Psalm 55:22).
Worry is a rodent and cannot live in the sacred place of the Most High God. It cannot breathe in the rarified atmosphere made vital by prayer and familiarity with the Scripture. Worry dies when we ascend to the heights of the LORD through prayer and His Word. The most effective antidote we have for the gnawing agitation of worry is prayer. If you pray fervently, you will be killing rats in your spiritual life. Prayer based on the Word of God and directed by the Spirit of God can help us conquer worry. Why not get started right now?
A servant of Jesus Christ
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