Guest blogger: Joe Barone - What, me worry?

Today’s Pulse article is by guest writer Joe Barone, and is entitled “What, Me worry?”

Worry. It’s a word that brings to mind skipped meals, knotted stomachs, cold sweats and sleepless nights. Worry is a heavy burden to carry. For something that causes our minds and bodies to endure so much distress, why do we do so much of it? No worry, no headaches. Easy, right? So will all those who don’t worry please step forward. We want to hear about your success in letting everything go. Umm! Not one? Max Lucado was right when he penned, “Do you worry? I worry about you if you don’t’ worry! All of us worry, but we shouldn’t. Jesus commands us a half a dozen times, ‘Do not worry’.”

Not much food in the cupboard? Too few clothes in the closet? What about that college tuition, the tired old car, the non-existent retirement fund? Do thoughts of tomorrow leave you with that helpless, hopeless feeling? Jesus addresses these concerns in Matthew 6:28-31:And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So 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. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Has the get-up and go you’ve had for so long finally got-up and went? Is the car in better shape than you? Meet Solomon. He’s been there, felt that: “So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body, for youth and vigor are meaningless” (Eccl. 11:10).

Have you been wronged? Falsely accused?  Don't know how to respond? Are you scared and confused? Listen to Jesus’ words in Matthew 10:19-20: “But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”

Personally attacked? Been maligned or mistreated? Have you been victimized or taken advantage of? Listen to Psalm 37:1, 7: “Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.”

What we need is a 24-hour, indestructible body guard. What we need is someone who is on our case and on our side, someone who intercedes on our behalf and never loses. Someone who understands. Someone who cares. Someone who can take the word “worry” right out of our vocabulary. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).

So you lose it! You struggle through a bout of worry. You crumble under the weight of the load. Wave the white flag? Give in to the enemy? DON’T!! A trusted ally is closer than you think. He wants to come and rescue you. As Paul wrote in Philippians 4:4-7, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  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.”

Releasing worry takes time. And faith. And trust. And practice. And discipline. And appropriating the help and guidance that has been given to us. As Jesus said, “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:25-27).

Rest on the power and promise of our Savior. In union with Him, defeat the problem, and the worry that comes with it, instead of the problem and the worry getting you.

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