A young man picked up a book and read twenty-one words that changed his life, in the spring of 1871. The young man was a medical student at Montreal General Hospital. He was worried about final examinations. He was troubled about what he should do with his life, where he should establish his medical practice and how he would build it.
The twenty-one words that changed his life were written by Thomas Carlyle. The man who was challenged was William Osler, founder of John Hopkins School of Medicine. These are the words:
Our main business is not to see what lies unclearly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.
This truth is taught in what we generally call the Lord’s Prayer: Jesus prayed, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matt. 6:11). Notice the words “this day.” The prayer asks for today’s bread only. It does not complain about yesterday’s bread. It does not worry about next week or next month. The request focuses on this day.
Today’s bread is the only bread we can possibly eat. In Matt. 6:34 we read, “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
Matthew is telling us to live one day at a time. If we live each day for God’s glory, we will automatically be prepared for tomorrow and the future.
The Lord Jesus is really saying, “Don’t worry about tomorrow.”
WHAT IS WORRY?
Our English word worry comes from the Greek word merimnao. It is a combination of two words, merizo meaning “to divide,” and nous meaning “mind.” Worry, therefore, means “to divide the mind.”
James says, “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8). In other words, a person troubled by worry is divided emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
Business and professional people often become so frustrated they reach the point where they are unable to make even the smallest decision.
WORRY IS A SIN
Worry is not only a divider of the mind; worry is sinful.
When a believer worries, he really accuses God of falsehood. The Bible says in Rom. 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God.” Worry says, “That’s untrue.”
God says in Heb. 13:5, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Worry denies God being able to fulfill His promises as well as being deceptive, untrue, not keep His end of the bargain.
Worry is also a sin because it is harmful to the human body, which is God’s temple. It is a medical fact that worrying people have more accidents resulting in fractures than those who are single-minded.
General Ulysses S. Grant, in his memoirs, tells how one night he was dizzy and could not see well because of violent headaches. His entire body ached. The next morning a horseman galloped up to him with a note of surrender from Robert E. Lee.
Grant said, “I was instantly cured when I saw the contents of the note. Every pain left me; even my headache..” He had been sick from worry.
THE CURE FOR WORRY
Attempt To Pray - In Luke 18:1 we read, “Men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” Prayer is one of God’s cures for caving in.
Put Forth Effort To Rejoice - The New Testament book of Philippians suggests, “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice” (Phil. 4:4)
You may say, “I’m not in a rejoicing mood. I just don’t feel like rejoicing.” Most people let their circumstances control them.
The verb here is the imperative present. It is mandatory. “Keep on praising the Lord.” Paul does not say, “If you are so inclined, please let me suggest that you rejoice.” No, he was led of the Holy Spirit to write, “Keep on rejoicing in the Lord always.”
Strive To Trust - Ps. 37 tells us not to fret. “Trust in the Lord, and do good” (v. 3)
Notice again the Lord’s words in Matt. 6:25-34. If God cares for the birds of the air and the flowers of the field, will He not take care of you? Worry in a sense is a form of atheism; it is a denial of God’s concern and of Christ’s intercessory work.
Put Forth An Effort To Work - Ps. 37 suggests, “Trust in the Lord, and do good.” One of the best cures for worry is work. “It is not work that kills men,” wrote Henry Ward Beecher. “It is worry. Work is healthy.”
Strive To Count Your Blessings - Another aid for overcoming worry is to list your blessings.
Someone said, “I had the blues because I had no shoes; till upon the street I met a man who had no feet.”
Finally, focus your attention on Jesus Christ and others rather than self. Remember the words Paul wrote to Christians in Philippi, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others” (Phil. 2:4)
My friend, make a full commitment to trust totally in Christ and He will free you from worry.
Plainly, don’t get short changed. Let’s be ready to meet our Maker. The Bible (in Acts) teaches that to avoid hell and gain heaven - one must:
1) Believe In Jesus As Savior (16:31)
2) Repent Of Sins (17:30)
3) Confess Christ Audibly (8:37)
4) Be Baptized In Water (2:38)
5) Live A Christian Life (14:22)
6) Be Active In the Church (2:47)