Another Christmas season has arrived. What is your response to this statement? My guess is that you feel hurried, stressed out, and weary because you are probably thinking of the “demands” of Christmas. Is that what Christmas is all about? No, it has nothing to do with the REAL Christmas.
For many, Christmas is about gifts. If I were to ask you about the best gift that you would desire, what would it be? My guess is that such a gift could not be wrapped in brightly colored paper. The gift that you desire is JOY. If that is true for you, then I have Great news for you! The central fact of Christmas is that God loves you so much that He sent his Son, Jesus, into this world to offer you everlasting joy. Jesus was born into this world at exactly the right time so that through faith in Him, you might experience Joy that triumphs over all circumstances. (Luke 2:10-11)
However, there are robbers lurking around you that threaten to rob you of this great gift called JOY. One of these robbers is called “Worry”. Are you a worry-wart? Do you worry all the time or some of the time? Bishop Taylor Smith once wrote a poem with these words:
“The worried cow would have lived till now
If she had saved her breath;
But she feared her hay wouldn’t last all day,
And she mooed herself to death.”
The above words illustrate the difference between genuine concern leading to proper action and worry over a possible future event about which we have no control. Worry is a robber that arises out of our sinful fallen human nature and can cause heart problems, ulcers, pre-mature aging, illness, and even a shorter life. Jesus was warning about the dangers of worry when He said: “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not!” (Matthew 6:27 NLT) Instead, Jesus encourages you to let Him guide you daily and to trust Him for EVERY need that you have. (Matt6:33)
To defeat Worry, you need to identify it. In this way, you can turn that worry quickly over to God BEFORE it can control and cripple you . Look for 3 marks of identification:
- 1) WORRY IS DISTRACTION. In Matthew 6:25, the word Jesus uses for worry means ---to be drawn in different directions at once. Does that describe the way you feel so often at Christmas time? You are distracted from worshipping God. You are distracted from serving others and meeting their needs. You need to focus you life by first focusing your mind on God. God will give you the experience of spiritual, mental, and emotional peace IF your mind (thoughts) are focused or fixed on Him (Isaiah 26:3,NLT)
- 2) WORRY IS DEVOURING. Our English word “worry’ comes from an old anglo-saxon word “WOLF” which means to devour. If you worry, it devours you or eats at you from within. If you feel that churning in the pit of your stomach, remember that if God provides for little birds (they don’t worry), you can be sure that He will provide for you. (Matthew 6:26) Talk to Jesus about whatever bothers you, then live by faith and TRUST Him.
- 3) WORRY IS DOUBTING: When you doubt, you are not believing that God will (or is able to) supply your needs and that of others. God does not expect you to sit around and do nothing. Even the birds look for food. But, as you work and act in faithful dependence on Him daily, your needs will be supplied (Matthew 6:33)
- This Christmas, receive God’s gift of joy through faith in Jesus. Fix your mind on Jesus and He will give you peace---peace of God, the basis of JOY! Next month, I will share some awesome truth about personal peace. For now, trust God to enable you to experience His JOY and win over worry.
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