Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Overcoming Worry and Fear

25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?  27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?  -Matthew 6:25-27 (KJV)

Worry is the great robber of the peace and joy Christ intends for us to have.  We know that worry creates problems such as unease, restlessness, stomach problems, and hypertension, yet we often worry anyway.  I once heard it said that most of what we worry about never happens and I have found this to be true.  Jesus warned us of the futility of worry.  We add nothing to our lives by worrying.  Indeed, we suffer and miss the joy and fullness of life when we allow worry to rule us. 
What would it take, short of leaving this world, for us to stop worrying?  The other day I finally heeded the advice of my dentist and began the process of having a crown placed on one of my teeth.  This involved a good amount of drilling and would be an involved and potentially painful procedure, so along with having the tooth numbed I agreed to use nitrous oxide, also known as laughing glass.  I had never used nitrous oxide before, so this was a new experience for me, and I will say a pleasant one.  As I lie there, breathing the gas and undergoing the ordeal of having my tooth drilled, I tried to come up with something to worry about.  Amazingly, I could not think of anything that was causing worry, stress, or fear.  “Wow,” I thought; “this stuff really works!”  I then decided to contemplate an asteroid the size of Texas hurtling toward earth.  Nothing; I could have chuckled at the idea. 

What a shame it took a drug to get me not to worry.  Here I must pause and consider the power of faith in Christ.  Faith empowers us to rise above anything that hinders our joy in the Lord.  The dark forces in our lives need not detract from our faith, but instead can strengthen faith.  The late Adrian Rogers once said that “faith is like film; it develops in the dark.” 

No doubt you are facing situations that are creating fear and worry.  Allow Christ to strengthen your faith in those difficult times.  You may feel dark forces are overwhelming you, yet Christ is able to strengthen your faith in these trials.  Cease from worrying and do not fret, for as the Scripture says it leads only to evil (Psalm 37:8).  Trust the Lord and walk forward in faith and claim the peace of Christ.  We are not alone, for the Lord is always with us. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Physical and Spiritual Health

1And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.  For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?  -I Corinthians 3:1-3 (KJV)

I have noticed an interesting phenomenon lately in fast-food commercials.  They depict young, seemingly healthy people laughing, dancing, and eating fast-food hamburgers and French fries.  The irony being that if people continue eating this kind of food over a period of time they can say goodbye to being fit, healthy, and happy.  Their days of being able to dance will probably end as well.  These days as I head into my 50’s I am more aware than ever of the need to be physically healthy.  If you are looking for a few tips on maintaining proper nutrition and fitness please have a look at my other blog, “Health, Happiness, and a Brighter Outlook” which can be easily linked from this page.  Feel free to peruse the archives.

Physical health is important, yet so is spiritual health.  If we desire to stay spiritually healthy then we must commit ourselves to prayer, worship, and daily time in God’s Word.  Neglecting prayer and time in the Word is akin to not eating right.  Failure to maintain a proper diet results in physical weakness and declining health.  The same occurs when we fail to maintain a proper spiritual diet.  Do not settle for skimming the surface in prayer and daily Bible reading.  Take the time to delve deeply into God’s Word so that the riches we find there can adequately make their way into the heart. 

Countless believers walk daily in frustration and spiritual weakness because they have neglected their spiritual health.  Where are you today in terms of these vital disciplines?  If you are like many people you could greatly benefit from rearranging your schedule to allow for more time in the Word and in prayer.  When we commit ourselves to daily time with the Lord we soon find our problems, trials, fears, and daily frustrations no longer look so large and imposing.  Instead, we realize the promise of God that with Him all is possible. 

Paul the Apostle bluntly told the church in I Corinthians that they were not ready for the meat of the Word because they were so worldly.  As followers of Christ we are called to be lead by the Holy Spirit.  God’s Spirit will lead us toward peace, joy, and soundness of mind.

Okay, who’s hungry?  Be sure to eat something healthy.  Who’s hungry for the Word of God?  Open the Word today and seek the Lord in prayer.  Make definitive steps to grow in spiritual health.