One of our key verses in this study is from Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6. In verse 25 (NASB) Jesus specifically speaks about not being anxious or worried about your life. “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” It’s interesting because just before Jesus said don’t worry, He said you can’t serve two masters. Hmmm. That sounds like worrying leaves you in a divided state of mind. Simply put, you’re either trusting God or you’re not.
Don’t despair. You can resist worrying. It’s definitely time to release the cares of your life to the burden bearer Jesus as Matthew 11:28-29 NLT says. “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Notice there are several components to relieving worry in these verses. Twice Jesus says HE will give you REST when and as you release your cares and heavy burdens to Him. Also notice the rest He speaks of is for your souls. We said previously the soul is our will, mind, and emotions—those areas where worry and anxiety affect us most.
TRUTH: Jesus knows man’s propensity to worry. Recognize there is nothing productive in worrying, nor is there anything healthy is doing so. Worrying doesn’t produce any good thing. Worrying and being in a continual state of worry doesn’t produce any good thing. Worry planted in your mind and continually fed (with more worry) will produce fruit: more worry. It’s the principle and truth of fruit time and harvest. Worry that is continually dwelt on will automatically produce fruit that is harmful. What fruit does worry produce? The fruit of worry is stress, anxiety, panic attacks, apprehension, anxiousness, fretting over matters that may or may not be real, troubled state of mind. Any of these affect not only your body, but your emotions and mind.
We also know that worry is active; it is the mental action of meditating on fear. You find yourself meditating, thinking over and over, on whatever is fearful to you. It could be your next doctor’s appointment because your friend had the same problem you have and ended up with cancer. It could be your afternoon meeting with the boss because others in your company were just laid off. It could be anything else that affects you.
We were not meant to worry at all, about anything. Isn’t that what Jesus said to His disciples in Matthew 6:25, NASB? “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life.” That’s why resisting worry brings you to the starting point where you believe what Jesus said. He already promised He’d carry your burdens (that’s worries, cares, etc.). He already told you that you’re more valuable than the birds of the air for whom God provides. So then if God can provide for all kinds of birds, how much more will He provide for you and I? You are the apple of His eye, a dearly beloved child of God. He’s got your interests at heart, and He is your provider, your Jehovah-Jireh, the God who provides for you (Genesis 22:14).
It’s time to change your view of God. Don’t see God as stingy and putting the axe to you by keeping you down and out and causing you stress. Don’t see Him as not wanting to carry your burdens. Refocus your thoughts on His love and goodness because He IS good. Change your mind and begin to see His blessings coming to you.
The more you focus on God as your provider, the more you’ll begin to see His provisions. It may start small, but even a seedling starts small before it becomes a full-fledged plant. (Remember seed-time and harvest). Plant the Word of provision in your heart and mind. Worry won’t have any room when you replace it with the living Word.
APPLICATION: Your Heavenly Father does not want you to live tormented with worry or fear. Recall that His love drives out all fear. Let 1 John 4:18 encourage you. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.”
Continuing to meditate on God’s Love for you will diminish worry. You can’t worry and trust at the same time. Exchange worrying for trusting. If that’s hard to begin with, start small and continue feeding on God’s promises and what Jesus has provided for you. The more you concentrate on God’s goodness and on Jesus’ faithfulness to you, the sooner you’ll be lifted from worry.
You can resist worrying because you have the power within you to change from a worrier to a victorious believer. Don’t embrace worry when it comes knocking at the door of your mind. Don’t invite it into your thoughts. Speak the word of your deliverance with the Word. The only way to resist worrying is NOT to do it. You can start today. And Jesus is there, walking with you to ease any load.
Continue meditating on these verse so they are anchored in your heart and mind. You have the tools to resist and overcome worry any time it knocks on your door.
Matthew 6:25, NASB – “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” [Simply put, don’t be in a state of continual worry about the things that affect your life].
Make It Personal: I make a decision not to be worried about the things that affect my life, especially when some are out of my control. I will trust my provider and not let worry overcome my thoughts.
Proverbs 12:25 ESV – “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” [Don’t carry around the extra weight of anxiety].
Make It Personal: I will continue to concentrate on what Jesus promises and has done—the good word and let His Word lift me up.
Philippians 4:8 ESV – “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Make It Personal: I will think on, that is concentrate and meditate on the good things of God, His truth and righteousness in me, not on the peripheral things of life that attempt to distract the Truth and get me off course.
2 Timothy 1:7 KJV – “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” [That’s a mind free of worry; a mind trusting God].
Make It Personal: I do not have the spirit of fear, or worry or anxiety! I have God’s power in me. I have His Love operating in my heart, and a sound mind that is free of worry because I am trusting Him.
Matthew 11:28 NIV – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. [You can’t worry and be at rest simultaneously. You’re either worrying or you’re resting. Resting is letting go and trusting your Jesus to carry your load].
Make It Personal: Whenever I’m weary or burdened because of the things going on in my life, I will first go to God. I will let His Word fill me with hope, joy, peace, and love, and I will rest in Him as I release my cares/my load.
1 John 4:18 NASB – “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment.” [Knowing God’s abundant love for you will cast out fear because there is no punishment in His love through Jesus].
Make It Practical: I will meditate on God’s love for me, and the more I receive His love and plant it in my heart, the stronger I am to cast worry far from me. He has delivered me from worry. It’s a done deal.
How can you keep your mind from being divided when worries creep in?
In what ways are you putting Matthew 11:28-29 into practice each day?
How can you change from meditating on fear or worry?
How are you refocusing your thoughts on God’s goodness and love to overcome worry?
How are you resisting the urge to worry?
How are you casting your care/burden on the Lord?