Tag Archives: worry

Unless Your Faith is Firm

In today’s verse, God says, “Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm.” The Message puts it this way: “If you don’t take your stand in faith, you won’t have a leg to stand on.”

There was a great threat to David’s kingdom and they began to worry. Verse 2 says, “So the hearts of the king and his people trembled with fear, like trees shaking in a storm” (NLT).They were fearful but God told the people to calm down and stop worrying. Why? Because nothing was going to become of this threat.

God cannot make us stand firm. Our faith needs to be firm. He has promised us many things, but if we don’t trust in His promises – if we don’t trust His Word, then it does us no good. We have a choice. We can believe. We can trust. We can walk in faith. Or we can worry. We can shake like trees in the wind. He cannot make us stand firm, but he has shown us time and time again that He is faithful, He is loving, and He is in control.

“Israel is no stronger than its capital, Samaria, and Samaria is no stronger than its king, Pekah son of Remaliah. Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm” – Isaiah 7:9b [NLT]

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Only A Simple Thing

There are moments when we look at our problems and they seem so big. Rather than say, “My God is bigger than my problems,” we focus on the problem which causes worry and anxiety.

In today’s verse, we read “this is only a simple thing for the LORD.” Only a simple thing. We need to remind ourselves daily that our God can do the impossible. Something that we consider difficult is “only a simple thing.” Something that we cannot do alone is “only a simple thing” for Him.

God is our Creator. He formed everything. He knows everything. As Romans 11:36 reminds us, “… everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory” (NLT). Remember this today. You might be facing a big problem in your life right now, but for God it’s only a simple thing. Put it in His hands and feel the peace that He alone can provide.

“But this is only a simple thing for the LORD, for he will make you victorious over the army of Moab!” – 2 Kings 3:18 [NLT]

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Worry Weight

I have had a lot of problems with insomnia over the years. There have been nights when I was so excited or in so much pain that I could not get to sleep. But there also were moments when I was so worried and anxious about something that it kept me from closing my eyes. I was worried. I was concerned. Yet there was nothing I could do to change the situation.

“Worry weighs a person down” even to the point of causing a person to lose sleep, have a poor appetite and lack of energy, and cause great problems to one’s health. The thing to remember is that worry does not help anything. Nothing can be changed by worry. Nothing can be fixed by worry. Worry only adds more weight. Worry only bogs you down.

Philippians 4:6 tells us to not be anxious about anything. Instead we are to give it to God. If you are worrying about something right now, give it to God. If you know someone who is going through a tough time, join them in prayer. As this proverb states, offer an encouraging word. Let them know you are praying for them. Remind them of God’s faithfulness. There’s too much in the world that can weigh us down. Let us focus on Him who can raise us up!

“Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.” – Proverbs 12:25 [NLT]

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Water Is Essential

rev7_17Water is essential for life. Water is needed for bodily functions. About 60% of our bodies are water.  A person can only survive a few days without water. These are things that we all understand. No sane person would argue that a person could survive without water.

Jesus offers us “living water” that if we drink, we shall not thirst again. This water is something we can only receive through Him.  Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them” (John 7:38 NIV).

After a good workout, when it’s a hot day, or after a night of sleep, we typically reach for a refreshing drink. Without a drink for too long a period of time, we experience some symptoms of dehydration. We have a dry mouth, dry skin, a headache or even lightheadedness. We also experience symptoms when we are walking without Jesus. We try to fill the void. We worry and doubt. We feel alone.

Today, make sure you are drinking plenty of water—and be sure to seek Him who can offer you living water, and you will not thirst again.

“For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water.’ And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.'” – Revelation 7:17 [NIV]

Laying It Before God

    Life can be overwhelming at times, especially when we try to carry everything on our own. The Lord tells us to come to Him for His yoke is light. The Bible says we aren’t to worry, because worry is not from God. Instead, we are to give it to God and trust Him.

    It is difficult to give it to God and then not worry. We are so tempted to give only so much to God, and then try to solve the rest on our own for whatever reason we have in our mind. Sometimes we do not even know why we cling to something that drags us down. What is worse is when we see that something is too much for us, and yet we still fight to survive with it weighing us down.

    In the Book of Isaiah, the Assyrians were trying to get the people of Israel to not trust in Hezekiah’s leadership and in his word from the Lord of upcoming deliverance. Rabshakeh stood before the people and told them why they should not believe and should not follow Hezekiah or his God. Later Hezekiah even received a letter to bring him down. This could have turned into a situation of doubt and fear. Hezekiah could have drowned his sorrow, ran from his problems, turned his back, or sank down and left Assyria have their way.

    Instead, Hezekiah took the letter he received, entered the house of the Lord, “and spread it out before the Lord” (Isaiah 37:14b NASB). Then he prayed, acknowledging God and seeking His answer.

    We receive “letters” all the time, letters that crush our spirits, diminish our hopes, challenge us, hurt us, intimidate us, and make us feel anything but confident. We fear, we doubt, we hurt. We get tired, overwhelmed, depressed, and ready to throw in the towel. But instead of allowing the senders of the letters to get the best of us, we have a God who is above all, a God who can do the impossible. We have the option to take our letter, spread it out before the Lord, and let Him have a go. It may seem easy, but it’s not. Nonetheless, after you’re able to fully release it out of your hands and place it in the hands of your loving Father, you’ll find this peace overcome you. It may not happen overnight, but there will be a change.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOUL. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30 [NASB]

Walking Through The Storm

This morning I headed out to take the dog for a walk. Now I knew that the weather was not looking so good; there was a chance for rain. My luck is always something else. I drive halfway there and it starts to rain. I look around and say, “No! What do you mean? It can’t rain. I’m almost there.” Gas prices are pretty high so I decided to keep going in hopes that the rain would stop, that it was just a passing storm. Nothing big. No worries.

I got there and the rain continued. I decided that I needed fresh air and the dog needed a walk, so I was just going to get out and take a walk anyway, and walk through the storm. Now I had an umbrella. I was very lucky to have that umbrella so I didn’t get too wet.

What I was thinking about was how we often are going through these storms in life. We like to complain. We like to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves and we sometimes don’t say thank you to God, because we are in these storms of life and it’s like “uh, can it get any worse.” We don’t thank God because we are not liking how things are at the current moment, but yet it could get worse. Now there are people who have something bad happening in their lives and I’ll hear them say, “It can’t get any worse then this.” I say, “Watch your mouth, because it could get worse than that.” I think that we at times don’t realize how well we have things and when things dampen our situation we forget that we are blessed with an umbrella.

For me, I was okay with walking in the rain because I had my umbrella and I was not walking alone. We are not walking alone when we are in our storm in life. We have God there with us. I think whenever we go and do our little “oh pity poor me, when are things going to get better,” when we do that, when we complain, and when we moan and grumble about things that might not be that important and we fail to give God praise, what ends up happening is we are not thanking God for the blessings we do have. We pretty much sound like spoiled little brats.

Psalm 63:4 tells us something I think is very important. It says, “I will praise You as long as I live, lifting up my hands to You in prayer.” I will praise You as long as I live. It doesn’t say I will praise You when things are going good but when things are going bad You need to step back. It doesn’t say that. It says, “I will praise You as long as I live. I will praise You as long as I live.” Through the good, through the bad. When it’s raining, when it’s nice out. No matter what. When you have fifty dollars in your wallet, or a million dollars in your wallet, or you don’t even have a wallet. I will praise You.

When things aren’t going well at work. When you are having problems with your spouse. When you are having arguments with your family. When you wanted to go here for dinner and they wanted to go there and you got outvoted. No matter what– I will praise You. I think that is something that if we know that and if we do that and we follow that– if we give praise to God every day. If you wake up and say, “thank You God for this day.” For this time. For this opportunity. For my life. For this roof over my head. For whatever it is that you have to be grateful for. If you thank Him for that and you acknowledge that it is all His then you will actually have a much happier life because you will see the blessings He has given to you. Sometimes we have to be reminded of that.

What I think this walking through the storm is all about is making sure that we don’t limit God — that we give our things to Him when we have a storm. And that we still praise Him during the storm, because there is going to be many storms. We were promised there were going to be many storms. Life has ups and downs but in the end, no matter what, God is the same God and He will be with you right by your side. Always. Forever.

Swim Forward

While I was taking a nature walk with my dog this morning, it was interesting to watch the interaction of God’s creation. I watched the squirrels climbing trees. I saw the ground hog scurry away fast to hide in his hole. I also saw some geese and ducks have a moment.

Geese are larger birds who always appear to be very territorial, whereas I do not necessarily recall seeing ducks get into any conflicts. This morning I watched as the ducks were swimming on by past the geese. The ducks looked very confident as they approached the geese. There was this “show no fear” attitude evident. Then as the duck was right beside one of the geese, his head turned away and he immediately changed direction.

This moment reminded me of how we are with our own fears in life. We say we have faith. We say we know everything is going to be okay. We say a lot of things. But when we are beside one of the geese, do we turn our head away or do we press forward? Do we follow God or do we run and hide?

Not all of us will be like David as he grabbed his slingshot and approached Goliath. Not all of us will attempt to walk on water like Peter. Some of us can barely find peace in the simple things in life to even take notice to the bigger opportunities God is presenting to us. We do not like to admit we find comfort in other areas. We do not want others to see that we are weak.

The truth is that every being is weak, dependent upon our Creator and Sustainer. We cannot face anything alone and when we attempt to do so there will be fears and also failures. There is no way for anyone to find true happiness in the world without the help of God. We find comfort in having a savings account for rainy days, but that money is God’s and can be gone in a flash. We find comfort in our homes, our clothing, our family, our friends, in food, in pleasure– but we can lose any of these items just like Job. All these items are temporary.

Fear and worry are not from God. The only way to defeat fear and worry is to understand that our God is bigger. God can handle anything. If we give our fears to God and swim forward in the direction He guides us, we will be fine. There will be moments we will want to turn our head and swim in the other direction, but understand that God wants to see His plan accomplished. He is right by your side. Keep swimming. Keep pressing forward. Keep the faith. God has never left — not once!

When I am afraid,
I will trust in You.
In God, whose word I praise,
In God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can mortal man do to me?

-Psalm 56:3-4 [NIV]