Tag Archives: worry

(Luke 21) Mind-Numbing

Jesus, talking about what was and is to come, said something that has me thinking. Verse 34 says:

Be on your guard, so that your minds are not dulled from carousing, drunkenness, and worries of life, or that day will come on you unexpectedly like a trap.

I get the carousing and drunkenness. Alcohol dulls the senses, muddles the brain. Someone in that state is physically unable to focus because of the drug in his system. But why would Jesus put worry in the same mind-numbing category?

Do you think our society is plagued with worry? It seems people worry about COVID, whether or not someone is vaccinated, racial issues, the economy, the very future of our society. There are still people who refuse to leave their homes because of worry.

Some of the things people worry about are real, others are imagined or exaggerated. But Jesus doesn’t make that distinction here, does He? It appears He believes any worry is as mind-numbing as alcohol.

Sitting here and going over this in my mind, I am beginning to see the implication here. If we worry, we’re not thinking clearly. If we worry, it’s hard to focus on anything else. If we worry, our minds are on ourselves and our situation. And if that’s true – our minds cannot be on God.

Now here’s where I see worry like drunkenness. One drink or one moment of worry can be controlled. We put the bottle down, or we change our thinking. The second drink makes it harder to resist a third. A second moment of worry makes it harder not to continue to worry. And when drunkenness or worry overtakes us, our minds are numb to the things of God.

Verse 36:

But be alert at all times, praying…

You can’t be alert with alcohol in your system. I get that. What stands out to me today is the idea that worry has the same effect.

God has a lot to say about worry in His Word. If you are one who struggles, let me suggest that you get out a concordance, or Google “Bible verses about worry,” and let God encourage you.

Be alert. And pray.

October 20; Worry

Luke 12:22-13:17, 13:22-14:24

Why do Christians worry? I mean, I think most of us do at some time or another. We worry about our children, our health, the state of the world. We might worry about tomorrow, or today.

Jesus reminds us that worry is a waste of time. Someone once said worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.

But I think worry is a bit more serious than that. Worry tells God I just don’t trust Him enough. That’s serious.

Look around. God takes care of His creation. And we who were created in His image are the apple of His eye. Why would we even consider that God can’t handle whatever we are facing?

Jesus tells us to seek first His kingdom. Everything else will fall into place. Are my eyes on God? Is my focus on my Savior? Am I praying God’s will be done, and meaning it?

Then there is no reason to worry. Verse 32 tells us, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” Let that sink in.

Back in the day we used to sing a chorus, “Why worry when you can pray? Trust Jesus, He’ll lead the way…Why worry, worry, worry, worry, when you can pray?”

The answer to that musical question is, “I don’t know.” There is no good reason to worry when you can pray. Let’s pray.

September 7; Changing Anxiety Into Joy

Daniel 11b3 6-12:13; Psalms 93-96

Often when I read the psalms God will hit me right where I live. I’ll hear something on the news, or someone close to me will share something that has me concerned, or I will have something happen that shakes me. Then, when I read God’s Word, it’s like God is addressing that very thing that is on my heart. He is amazing!

I’m not going into detail today about what is specifically heavy on my heart because that which is on your heart is very likely something quite different. But I want to share with you what God has said to me through His Word about handling our concerns and battles. I think it applies to us all.

In Psalm 94 the writer begins by pointing out the things that are wrong in the world, that wickedness is seemingly going unchecked. But then we are reminded that God created us with ears, do we think He can’t hear? He created us with eyes, do we think He can’t see? The psalmist calls us foolish for thinking God can ever be caught off-guard. He knows every thought we have. We can rest assured that the things on our hearts are on His heart, too.

The psalmist points us to Scripture, the place where God teaches us, where we find relief from our trouble, where we are assured that as God’s inheritance we are not forsaken. It’s the place where I love to go to hear God’s heart-beat.

Then lastly, the psalmist tells us if we are fighting a battle, God fights with us. When we fall, He catches us. When we are weak, He is our fortress and refuge.  Then in verse 19, listen to this:

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.

You remember Philippians 4:6-7, don’t you?

Be anxious for nothing but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I Peter 5:7 says,

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

So I guess today, as my heart is heavy, as I find myself worrying about people I love, I am reminded that God wants to be in this with me. He wants to be my rock and my refuge. He wants to teach me, assure me, love me through it.

He wants to change my anxiety to joy. And I am going to let Him!

June 6; One Wealthy Dude

Proverbs 31; I Kings 4:20-28, 10:14-29; 2 Chronicles 1:14-17, 9:13-28

I imagine Solomon’s wealth might rival that of Jeff Bezos in today’s market. You read about the king’s use of gold, his articles of silver, the robes, weapons, spices, horses, etc. and know the man was loaded.

Yet Jesus, in Matthew 6 says not even Solomon in all his splendor had anything on the wildflowers in the field.


We seem to place a lot of emphasis on the material, don’t we? People like the founder of Amazon.com, who is said to be worth 150 billion dollars, are looked up to, considered successful. On the other hand, we look at people in line at the unemployment office as losers. But are we looking at the wrong things?

So many times we lose sleep over unpaid bills, where our next meal is coming from, or with a closet full of clothes, we lie awake and wonder what we should wear to work in the morning. Jesus reminds us that non-Christians do that, too.

Then Jesus encourages us to look around at this amazing world He created. If God dots the fields with colorful flowers, if He causes a tree to burst forth with beautiful flowers before it produces luscious fruit, if birds sing, and stars twinkle, and the ocean pulls back at the shore, how much more thought and care is He going to take on the only part of His creation created in His image? How much more is He going to provide for those who accept what Jesus died to give them?

Our Lord tells us to seek Him first. Take our focus off the temporal and look toward the eternal, His kingdom, and all the things we need will be given us. That’s His promise. Even more than we ask or think.

Oh, our bills might still be overdue, and our place in the unemployment line might be way at the back. But even if we had the riches of Solomon as described in the verses we read today, it could not surpass the riches of knowing Jesus.

Are you God’s child through the blood of His Son? Do you trust Him? Then quit worrying and keep your eyes on Him. God is not unaware of your circumstances, and He has a solution that will knock your socks off.

My friend who knows Jesus as your Savior: YOU are one wealthy dude.


May 18 – Sleepless In Ohio

Psalms 26, 40, 58, 61-62, 64

I had trouble falling to sleep last night. So many thoughts were running through my head I couldn’t keep up. It was exhausting. I tossed and turned for what seemed like hours.

Here are a few of the thoughts that kept me awake: 1. President Trump or President Clinton – how has our nation come to this sad place in history? 2. Medicare supplements, life insurance – decisions I need to make, 3. financial martial law – this presidency is destroying us, 4. a man I’ve had contact with who is searching for peace – how would God use me to lead him to the Savior, 5. family stuff.

I tried to pray, but my racing thoughts distracted me. So it was with relief I read these psalms today. Many of these verses blessed me. Here are two:

On God my salvation and glory rest; the rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. Trust Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. (66:7&8)

I don’t know what tomorrow holds. But I will stand on my Rock, and trust God at all times, even in the dark of night when sleep doesn’t come.

God is still my refuge.

December 16

Philippians 3&4; I Timothy 1&2

Who has never been worried or anxious about something? I know I have spent more than one sleepless night fearful of what lay ahead. My mom’s cancer diagnosis, dad’s loneliness after her death, a loved one’s rebellion, a troubled student at my school. I changed school districts early in my career and fretted about that decision for weeks. 

Someone said, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.” It’s true. I can honestly say not one minute I spent worrying about any of these things accomplished anything good.

Paul tells the believers in Philippi to “Rejoice in the Lord always.” (4:4) He reminds them the Lord is near, then says: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (4:6&7)

I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say worry is a sin. But it steals the peace and becomes a wedge between me and the God of peace. It is a symptom of my heart’s condition and a clue that I don’t really trust him like I say I do. 

So what do you do when the problems of life begin to mount up and you find yourself worrying about the future? Here is what Paul tells us:

1.  PRAY. And not just a prayer that asks God for something. Pray with THANKSGIVING. Never lose sight of all the things you have to be thankful for, even in the midst of trying times.

2.  THINK. Or maybe, change what you are thinking. As human beings we have the ability to control our minds. Use it. When I worry, my thoughts are consumed by the problem. I turn it over and over in my mind. I consider all the bad things that could happen. I toss and turn because I imagine all the possibilities. But Paul tells us to think about the following instead:

whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, things that are excellent or praiseworthy. THIINK ABOUT SUCH THINGS. (taken from 4:8)

When worry starts to creep into your thoughts, give it to God, pray and thank him for your blessings, then change your thoughts to things that glorify God. The result, according to Philippians 4:7, is that God will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus. He will protect us from worry! Then in 4:9b, “And the God of peace will be with you”.

No worry there.

Dear God of Peace, thank you for wanting us to know your peace. Forgive us when we take hold of the reigns and worry about the future. May your children learn to pray about it all, thank you for your blessings, then change our thinking to things that encourage us and bring glory to you. Help us, Lord, to trust you. Really trust you with every detail of our lives. We praise you for peace in the midst of the storm.

February 6

Exodus 13-15

As we read together the account of Israel’s time in the desert we will see times of great victories and times of great disobedience. Remember Israel was chosen by God… not because He loved them better than He loved other people. He didn’t choose them to bless them for their sakes. He chose them to reveal Himself to the world. 13:4 is one of the many times God explains why He is working through Israel. “I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know I am the Lord.”

So the Jews walked across a dry Red Sea but the same waters drowned the Egyptians. Not a Jew was lost and not an Egyptian survived. And God could not be denied.

After that amazing rescue the Israelites had no trouble believing God was who he said he was. 14:31 says they feared the Lord and put their trust in Moses. They believed God was on their side and would get them to the Promised Land.

Three days later… seventy-two short hours later those same Israelites are grumbling against Moses because they were thirsty. They couldn’t find any drinking water in the desert. Were they really that fickle that one day they trust God and the next they don’t?

Sometimes it’s easier to trust God with the big picture than it is to trust Him with the details. As Christians we trust Him with our eternal home, we believe He is faithful to the end.

Yet we find ourselves worrying about the every day things. Not enough money to pay bills. A frightening medical diagnosis. A struggling relationship. A project at work or school.

We trust God with our future but can we trust Him with the day… or the minute? God provided water for the Israelites that day in the desert. And He promises to supply us with all our needs according to His riches.

There’s a song I like that says… when you come to the place where I’m all you have, You’ll find I’m all you need.

So can God be trusted with what you are going through today? Absolutely. He wants you to know He can be trusted. Remember, a sparrow doesn’t fall to the ground without God seeing it happen. And you are so much more precious to him than a sparrow.

Father, thank you for supplying water for the Israelites in the desert and showing us your great care for your people. Help us to give you what is worrying us right now, this minute. Help us to trust you with today.

January 25

Genesis 31 & 32

What is it about guys and wrestling? When I was in high school I loved going to wrestling meets. I sat at the scorer’s table and kept stats. I eventually learned the moves and strategies of this exciting sport. But I never once was tempted to join the team.

I have two grown nephews who think their mother’s living room rug is a wrestling mat. The older even broke the nose of the younger a while back and they still wrestle when they are together.

I know some people disagree when I say there is a fundamental difference between men and women. Oh, women like to establish our superiority, too. But we tend to use less physical means to do so.

That’s why reading that Jacob wrestled all night with God isn’t something I can relate to. I’d have thrown in the towel after the first period bell.

So is there a spiritual lesson to be learned here? I’m glad you asked!

When I am convicted of a sin, God will use guilt, worry, and a host of other negative emotions to bring me to my knees. I can toss and turn all night with the weight of my sin. As God’s child, He wants me to repent so He can bless me. At those times, it’s like I’m in a wrestling match that I cannot and should not win if it means holding on to that sin.

At other times, when I am facing a life changing decision or am so burdened for a loved one I can’t sleep, I may feel in the morning as though I have wrestled all night. It’s not that God is my opponent. In fact God is on my team!  He is more like my coach on the sideline, seeing my battle from a different angle, and shouting instructions and encouragement.

In both cases, God wants me to come out a winner. He wants to help me defeat sin in my life and he wants to bless me. I just need to learn when to quit wrestling with Him! Because when He wins, I do too!