Deflating Our Worries
By Kelly Benton
I want to start this morning’s message off by passing out a visual aid to you. Balloons!
In a moment I am going to read a list of stressful situation. Each time you hear a situation similar to one you experienced in the past week, blow a deep breath into your balloon. Don’t let any of the air out until I tell you.
Some of your balloons may pop before I am finished reading the list and that’s okay. Here’s the list.
1.Got into an argument with a family member.
2.Got an unexpected bill. Worried about finances.
3.Car broke down.
4.Failed at something.
5.Broke a Commandment.
7. Felt hurt by someone’s actions.
8.Felt like giving up on someone or something.
9.Worried about something.
10.Worried that I was worrying too much.
Okay, those of you that still has your balloon in contact. Hold them up and remember to not let any air out until I tell you. Look around, notice the different sizes. These balloons represent our stress levels. We all get stress from various sources don’t we? But there is always one place we can go to find relief when we feel stressed: directly into the arms of God. Listen to what our Scripture says:
Matthew 11: 28-30 28″Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Okay let you balloons go!!!!!!!!!
Worry is the number joy stealer in life, it is a thief. Worry diminishes the benefits, the hopes and dreams of many people because it robs us of clear thinking and faith walking.
Maybe even now as we worship together, many of us are unable to concentrate and fully give ourselves to God this morning because our minds are drifting to the problems and worries that we have.
How can we let go of the worry in our lives and start living? How can we let go and allow it to fly away like our balloons?
First of all, I believe we must recognize that ……
I. Worry attacks both the strong and the weak.
Did you know that worry is a product of the human condition we call sin?
What we need to realize that no matter how strong our faith is in Jesus, worry is out to get us!
Just because we are believers in Jesus does not guarantee a worry free life. When sin entered the world it did more than just separate us from God – sin stole our confidence. It made us question God’s intentions for us.
Even now when things do not go as we had hoped or planed, how do we speak to God? We ask Him why. Why have you not given me a job? Why have you not restored my marriage? Why have you not rescued me from my financial distress? Why have you not taken my illness from me? Why God? Why?
These are questions of confidence. The average person’s worry is focused on 40% of things that will never happen… 30% of things about the past that can’t be changed… 12% of things relating to the criticism by others, mostly untrue… 10% about health, which gets worse with stress and 8% about real problems that will be faced.
Worry is the product of the human condition and everybody worries to some degree. The challenge God gives us is to Come to Him, all you
who are weary and burdened, and He will give us rest.
Worry also breeds in an environment of insecurity and uncertainty.
It is like the germs that are all around us. The body’s immune system is constantly trying to fight them off – so too our faith must fight and wage war on worry.
Germs require favorable conditions in order to breed and grow. Eliminate those conditions and you control the spread of germs. If we eliminate the environment of insecurity and uncertainty in our life then we too can control the spread of worry in our life.
We may not be able to completely eliminate it – to eradicate it but we can sure mow it down to size!
Remember who you are in Jesus! You are a child of the King; Blood bought and nothing can take you away from Him.
Worry is faith in the negative, trust in the unpleasant, assurance of disaster and belief in defeat. Worry is wasting today’s time to clutter up tomorrow’s opportunities with yesterday’s trouble.
Speak the name of Jesus over your areas of insecurity. Take your authority over the realm of uncertainty and remember “greater things you shall do in Jesus name because you believe!”
II.But worry also indicates a lack of trust.
We question our faith because we are fed a lie!
In Genesis 3 the serpent tempts Eve with a lie. Eve says in verse 3, “God has said, You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'” But the serpent responds in verse 4, “you will not surely die!”
Is God for us or is He not? The Scriptures are full of the promises of God’s presence for us.
In Daniel 3, as Shadreck, Meshach and Abed-nego are about to be cast into the fire for not renouncing their God, they respond to the king in verse 16: “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
When Jesus spoke to the people about worrying about various different things he wanted to prove that God was trustworthy to take care of their problems. He spoke at length how they could trust in God rather than worry.
The greatest problem with worry and anxiety is a lack of trust in the Lord. When we worry we are essentially spending time wondering how we can fix a problem or what we can do about something, when the reality is we are looking to the wrong place.
God needs to be the very foundation of our lives. He and He alone is the only thing that will never fails us. All around our world we see let downs and failure. God will never let us down and He will never fail us.
God promises to take care of the needs that we have. We need to understand that when we worry we are failing to trust in a dependable and a good God for our basic needs. What a bad witness to the world it is when Christian people worry.
Sometimes we convince ourselves that we trust in the Lord with our whole heart, but when push comes to shove we don’t really trust Him. It is easy for us to say at times, “I fully depend on God.” However, it becomes a little bit more difficult when times are slightly rough. It becomes a little more difficult when we do not know how we’re going to pay our bills. So what do we do, we worry about it. we take it into our own hands.
There is nothing wrong with taking action and trying to be proactive about a problem that you have in life, but the question is when money gets tight do we trust that the Lord will provide our needs. Do we trust him enough to keep on giving a portion of our incomes? It is easy for me to trust the Lord when things are going great, but what about when work isn’t going so well, or when my health begins to fail, or my children are giving me some problems, or I am involved in some conflict with someone else? What do we do? Do we trust the promises that God gives us in His Word or do we worry about it constantly to no avail?
Worry constantly drains the energy God gives us to face daily problems and to fulfill our many responsibilities.
Therefore worry is a sinful waste. It feeds the lie that makes us question ourselves and God’s greater purposes for us.
Worry also causes us to question our faith because we want a “sign.”
An empty tomb was a sign that Jesus is risen! But signs are not to be the basis of our relationship with God – faith is. We believe God because He is God – not because I need a sign.
Worry demands some kind of tangible evidence from God that He is here for us, or that we are to do this or do that. But Jesus says in John 15:4, Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
III.Worry hinders action!
Worry free living is the goal – but in the meantime we need to keep moving!
I have found that worry takes up a lot of time. Perhaps it is something we all do, but it is costly of our time. Many of us stay up late at night as we lay in bed worrying about different things. I believe many of us spend more time worrying about problems than we do working to fix problems.
Worry takes up so much time that sometimes it can hinder us from doing what needs to be done. People can get so bogged down with worry that they are good for nothing. Let us not get hindered from fixing our problems or doing what needs to be done because of our worries.
There was a patient in the mental hospital, holding his ear close to the wall, listening intently. The nurse finally approaches him and says “What are you doing.” “Shhh!” he says. And he keeps listening. And finally the patient beckons the nurse over and says, “Listen.” The nurse presses hers ear to the wall for a long time. And she finally says, “I can’t hear a thing,” And the patient says, “Yea, and it’s been like that all day!”
Well, worry is a little bit like that mental patient sitting and listening to the wall. Worry consumes a lot of our time, but accomplishes very little in the long run. Worry is a waste of time. It doesn’t accomplish anything. This is exactly what Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount.
The reality is, and we understand it from our experiences that no matter how much we worry about something it does not change things. I have never seen anyone solve a problem or accomplish anything due to worrying about it.
One man said, “Don’t tell me that worrying does not help. The things I worry about never happen.”
Worry and anxiety are a waste of your time. Often times the things we spend time worrying about are beyond our control anyways and it does not accomplish anything good. Let us let go of worry and anxiety because in reality worrying does not accomplish anything.
Conclusion: This morning I think that all of us worry to some degree. Some of us may hide it better than others – we may pretend that we have it all under control, but none-the-less, worry is present.
But the greater need is for those of us who are gripped by worry – whose lives are lived in constant anguish and fear because we allow worry to control us and to rob us of living.
We laugh and make fun of ourselves at times because we are worriers, but in reality we are hurting and we are in desperate need of help. We want to be released from this bondage that chains us to our fears and insecurities – released to enjoy life rather than fear it.
One man was always worrying. He worried about his children, his job, his wife, his health. One day a friend of this man noted that he was extremely calm and peaceful. “Why are you so calm?, he asked. “You always worry about every-thing. What happened?” The former worrier replied, “I just hired a man to do the worrying for me.” “Well, how much are you paying him?” His friend inquired. “A thousand dollars a week,” the man replied. “A thousand a week? You can’t afford a thousand dollars a week.” The worrier responded, “That’s his problem, let him worry about it!”
The good news today is that we do have someone to take our worries and our cares for us and we don’t have to pay Him a dime. Not only is He capable of working out the problems that we worry about, but He asks us to lay our burdens, anxieties, fears and worries upon him.
(I Peter 5:7) Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Let’s allow Him to deflate our worries today. What worries do you need to give to Jesus this morning?