Tuesday, March 8, 2011


'So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today.'

'Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.'

Now, depending on which tranlsation you have, the first quote may actually use the word 'anxious' instead of worry. What's interesting is that they aren't the same-yet worry and anxious is used interchangingly. Worry creates anxiety in my mind...but lets take a closer look at the words themselves:
Worry- to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts; a cause of uneasiness or anxiety...
Anxiety-distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune; psychic tension occurring in some forms of mental disorder.

So is David writing about how there is no fear right? I don't believe so...I think he's talking about how while he is in the midst of great dispair he will 'fear no evil' because God is with Him. Yet, in today's world, we live in constant fear-whether it's at work, at home, or at school. Teenagers constantly fear they aren't good enough-not only emotionally, but physically too. Guys and girls worry about what they look like or 'seem' to convey to their peers. And adults fear they'll lose control of their children, not get the promotion or bonus, or can't keep up 'with the Jones'. The point? That it doesn't matter your age...we all suffer the paralyzing thoughts and affects of  fear in our lives-sometimes daily.

When many of us think or hear-even from Jesus, that we should worry or fear...our knee jerk reaction is: 'it's always easier said than done' however, I would submit to you that it isn't. Just like the discipline of prayer, we need to work on how we let our emotions affect our faith. Now, did I just turn a page or two ahead here? Did I lose you? Let me be clear...I'm saying that we let our emotions affect our faith. To clarify I will give you some biblical examples: Peter walking on water, then sinking. Jesus calms the storm. Treasure.

Now, I realize that two of them were great examples, powerful examples in fact, but the last one hits home too-in that, Jesus ends his little talk on treasures and possessions with: 'Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.' I feel that's the perfect transition for what I'd like to talk about-emotions. For Peter, it wasn't until he let his emotions get the best of him that he began to sink, and even after they had witnessed Jesus peform great miracles the disciples woke Jesus up to save them and after these two instances Jesus asked them: where is your faith?

So where is your faith? Is it emotional or fixed upon the promises of God? Even the disciples struggled with their emotions getting in the way of their faith. I'm not saying that emotions are bad, but they do tend to get us off the prize and distracted. So what does one do when their emotions get the better of them? Remember His promises-go and read the scriptures again. You may find that Jesus himself took up the practice of really listening to his Father-our God, even in the midst of death.

We can hear God through prayer and His word, but none of  that matters if we're going through the motions. None of that matters if we aren't truly open and have an attitude of expectations here and now. And I think we know when we're going through the motions; it's when we let fear take hold in our hearts and minds when it comes to the things we face each and every day...

So take control and don't lose sight of His promises. Jesus told us: 'For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.'  Whatever it is that continues to through you off your 'game' as a Christian, focus on how it can change and needs to change. Don't let your emotions guide your into a dark hole or into denial, learn to control them and give your anxiety to God. Again, how do we know our emotions get the best of us-check your focus in tight situations or throughout your daily lives. A good time to 'check' would be when you pray...are you a 'scatter brain' and can't seem to focus? It's time to shut it down and decompress.

So there is my challenge-I dare you to take control of your emotions...David was in a bad spot when he wrote the majority of the Psalms. Again, emotions aren't bad, but they can be when they distract us from His truth and His promises.

1 comment:

pitcher12k said...

From the passage in Luke on Treasure, verse 31 sounds like a promise. And it also somewhat sounds like a challenge, to me at least. A challenge to live by pursuing God's Kingdom above all other things, and seeing how God provides for you in all circumstances through this life :)

When you talk about praying as a 'check' I'm not sure what you mean when you say decompress. Do you mean that we should take it as a sign to give up what we are going through to God?

And it is interesting how you time these things..or rather, how God times them. Very interesting in deed, they always seem to be quite appropriate to something that has happened to me recently. Thank you Jeff :)