THIS SERIES: A HEALTHY HEART
Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.
Continuing our series on the ‘Healthy Heart’, this post focuses on worry. For some of us worry is merely an occasional threat to our equilibrium, easily overcome and despatched. For many others, however, it is the source of almost constant misery, driving people to the doctor for medical support, straining relationships and clouding lives. Whether it’s worrying about aging parents, recalcitrant teenagers, a problem at work or tomorrow’s weather, a worrying heart weighs us down [Proverbs 12:25].
The dictionary describes the ‘worrying’ of a dog as being the repeated shaking or pulling of its quarry with its teeth; I think this gives a graphic picture of the mental process of human worry—the interminable turning over of things in the mind; the inability to put an issue down and allow the mind and emotions to rest.
Worry is the antithesis to trust; if we truly know our Heavenly Father has us safely in the palm of His hand, and that He is always the author of good in our lives, then we can rest in His provision—for every aspect of our lives. Unfortunately, the consequences of living in a fallen world populated by fallen people, has allowed the Evil One to sow distrust in our hearts. ‘Has God said?’ he whispers. ‘Is God really good? Will He really show up? Haven’t you messed up too much this time?’ On and on the insinuations go, and the worries well up and spill out.
OVERPOWERING THE STRONG MAN
Worry is a stronghold which compromises the healthy heart. Jesus said, (changing the metaphor slightly), ‘When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armour in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder.’ [Luke 11:21,22].
To deal with the ‘strong man’ of Worry, we have to take away the ‘armour’ which gives it power. The armour is the lies which are attached to a particular issue—things we believe which are opposed to God’s revealed truth.
So the first thing we need to do is to pin down the specific worry and ask the Lord to identify the lie or lies attached to it. After writing these down, we then need to ask Him to show us what He thinks; (You could do an internet search here: ‘Bible promises for money, children, decision making’ etc.) and write down the truth opposite the lie.
Having identified the lies at the root of our worry, we need to repent. Lies impugn the nature and character of God and need cleansing and forgiveness. The core meaning of repentance is ‘to change our way of thinking’. We need to confess our sin, ask for forgiveness, then complete the process by declaring His truth over our lives and circumstances.
By continuing to do this, (several times a day, until the worry has gone) we prise the ‘armour’ away from the ‘strong man’ and regain its plunder—the peace and rest it has taken from us.
Worry has a tendency to lurk in the background, spoiling our days with undefined threatening images. It’s time we faced it, took away its strength and lived in the good of our inheritance as children of God.
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in You.
Read more about God's promise of provision, and another blog post: Do not worry about your life.
Visit the Psalm 91 page for the related topic of dealing with fear.
NEXT WEEK: THE BELIEVING HEART
Struggling with faith? Maybe it’s not as hard as you think…
PASS IT ON
[Photo credits: Christian Erfurt (man); Samuel Zeller (armour); Alec Gomes (flame); @ Unsplash, with thanks]
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