“Worry doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of strength1” ~Corrie ten Boom
Worry. The nagging sense that your world is spinning out of control. Feeling hopeless and powerless to overcome. Oppressed by circumstances, addicted to anxiety, and running on empty.
Our world is filled with addictions. Unfortunately, they are not limited to those outside the family of God. Many within the church struggle with the nagging, relentless habit of worry that defies quick and easy solutions. We seek help and share our worry addiction with a few close friends, hoping that bringing it into the light will help us break free, but that doesn’t happen. There are rare occasions when we find a measure of relief, but it isn’t long before the battle returns, leaving us discouraged and defeated. Curiously, this most common addiction is not labelled as one. Thanks to our creative ability to rationalize our way around it, we pass worry off as a natural consequence to living life at breakneck speed. But the truth is that worrying is antithetical to trusting in God. It’s time we stopped our habit of worrying and replaced it with the God-given solution: trusting.
Philippians 4:4-9 has a lot to say about worry. As Paul sat down to write Philippians—a letter overflowing with joy, freedom, and contentment—he lived under house arrest in Rome as he awaited trial before Caesar (Acts 28:16, 30). He celebrated his house imprisonment because it allowed him to present the Gospel to the elite soldiers of the Praetorian Guard and to encourage others to preach the Gospel with boldness (Philippians 1:7, 12-14). In Christ, Paul found limitless joy and freedom that confinement could not supress. In his letter, he wanted to share his joy with the Philippians and, as a part of God’s inspired Word, with us today.
In Chuck Swindoll’s sermon, he summarized Paul’s message in Philippians 4:4-9 with four phrases: rejoice in the Lord every day; release your burden every day; relax in God’s peace every day; and respond by focusing on the right things.
Faith in Christ should bring freedom from worry.
1. Corrie ten Boom, Quotable Quotations, compiled by Lloyd Cory (Wheaton, Ill.: Scripture Press, Victor Books, 1985), 446 – 47.