TOPIC:“The Sin People Worry About” (Worrying)
by Rev. Dr. Reg Dunlap
“Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you
need, and thank him for all he has done” (4:6, NLT)
Dr. Charles R. Swindoll, great evangelical preacher of today, writes in one of his books these words: “I have a friend who worries when she doesn't have something to worry about.” How descriptive that is of a number of people I know. I suppose we might call worrying the leading mental health problem in these United States.
Let me get a little closer to those of you here today. Worry, anxiety and apprehension without doubt is the major problem that most of us struggle with in this congregation. It reminds me of a lady I read about who worried for forty years that she would die of cancer. She finally died of pneumonia at the age of seventy. Imagine, she wasted thirty-three years of worrying about the wrong thing.
Even when we engage in worrying it never solves a single problem. It only reveals a lack of trust in the fact that God is in control of all things. It comes down to a lack of faith in God's Word. As someone has put it: “Worry is carrying a burden that God never intended us to bear.” I want us now for the next few moments to come to grips with the sin of worrying and how each one of us may get victory over it.
Consider, to begin with, some of the CIRCUMSTANCES which cause us to worry. The Apostle Paul writes in verse 6: “Don't worry about anything.” The meaning here is “have no distressing anxiety about anything.” Phillips gives us this rendering: “Don't worry over anything whatsoever.”
Stop and consider for a moment the various things we worry about that actually never take place. They never happen and yet, we worry about them. Sleepless nights are spent as we permit ourselves to be weighted down by anxious thoughts and stressful concerns. We worry over the necessities of life. We worry about illnesses coming our way. We worry about losing our job. We worry about paying our bills. Hadden W. Robinson, in an article entitled, Our Tomorrows, writes: “No words in any language can produce more anxiety than the question, `What if?' As we mutter them, we begin to imagine one bad possibility, then another, and then both bad possibilities together. And yet, all the while Jesus is saying to us: “So I tell you, don't worry about everyday life - whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn't life consist of more than food and clothing” . . .