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Not to Worry

March 20th, 2017

The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not be in want. (Psalm 23:1)

I heard a good sermon last night here in Milan, Italy, at the International Church of Milan, by Pastor Jim Albright, on this text.  Rarely does a day go by that would not become brighter if we would just remember this simple truth. He who has all power has promised us that He will care for us, and this simple truth should resolve our tendencies to worry.

Yet, sin being what it is, infectious, deep, troublesome, stubborn, still dampens our spirits. Our problems land on us like rain on a leaky roof, and they seep down, dripping through all the cracks and crevices of our lives, the untended places and unresolved things, to the deepest parts of our souls, pooling and stagnating there. A memory is all it takes to trigger a wave of worry that blocks out the sun in our eyes on any day. Something that happened long ago can conjure up in our minds all manner of doubts and worries.

So we need constantly to keep such verses before us, to put them there and to keep them there. We can never predict when a doubt will surface, when a fear will take our minds off of God’s benevolence and faithfulness.

Corrie Ten Boom wrote, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” Warren Wiersbe said: “Most Christians are being crucified on a cross between two thieves: Yesterday’s regrets and tomorrow’s worries.” Unresolved regrets feed into our worries and both rob us of the joy of the Lord. John Maxwell said: “The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That’s the day we truly grow up.”

We take responsibility by choosing what to think about – the faithfulness of God or the problems of life. Our minds must always make a priority to meditate on the positive blessings of God. It may seem chic and realistic to complain about life – “misery loves company” the adage goes – but it is far better to be reminded of God’s goodness in the midst of each day than to be obsessed with life’s unpredictable nature.

The soul that sings through its troubles chooses to do so out of its faith in God’s promises, and not simply because it has no sorrow. The Christian sees the hand of God active – forgiving our sins, feeding our souls, strengthening us in the inner most of our lives. Rather than obsessing over the problem we face, we would do better to anticipate the strength of God we will receive through the problem. What new thing will I learn about God’s amazing care for me through this new challenge? That is a question worthy of a Christian’s attention.

The scripture says:

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Eph. 3:16-19 NIV)

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