White Fields Blog

Excessive Worry

Do you ever worry? If you do, you're not alone. 

There is a healthy kind of concern that all people should have who take on responsibility, but the Bible warns us against excessive worry.

Consider this:

Excessive worry comes when you think you are absolutely sure that you know exactly what has to happen... and you are afraid that God won't get it right.

God's Word reveals to us who God is: loving. good. all-powerful. all-knowing. providential. transcendent. And the one of the results of really embracing the understanding of who God is, is that we come to the place where we are able to rest from excessive worry because you realize that only your Heavenly Father knows exactly what you need and only your Heavenly Father has the ultimate power to give you what you need. So you come to the point where you say: "I admit that I don't know what's really best for me in the big picture! I don't know what really has to happen!  Because I can't see the big picture from my vantage point. But I know that God can! And I do know that God loves me, and God holds all things in His hand and is working out His plan, and He's not going to mess it up."

 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

(Matthew 6:25-33 ESV)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

(Philippians 4:6-7 ESV)

Sermon Follow-up: Finishing Well

Last Sunday, Nick spoke on the topic of finishing well through the story of Jacob as he came to Egypt in the final days of his life to "live happily ever after" with Joseph and his other sons in the land that Pharaoh provided for them. I mentioned in the service hearing recently that 90% of pastors do not finish well in their ministries. If those of us who are leaders in the church find it difficult to handle the challenges and difficulties that life can bring, it seems that all of us should take seriously the challenge to remain faithful and finish well no matter what may experience.

Like many of you, I watched a portion of the Oscars Sunday evening after church. And, I enjoyed the highlights from a great film last year, Les Miserables. In that movie, the character Fantine  sings "I Dreamed a Dream" as she recounts her many misfortunes and disappointments, summing it all up in the last line with the confession "Oh, life has killed the dream I dreamed." Life certainly takes its toll, doesn't it? That's why the most wise King Solomon wrote, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23). No matter what life may bring, it's so important to take inventory of your heart, as you go, and guard it above all else - for it is the treasure of your life to protect! 

A friend of mine, Gary Barkalow, wrote in his book It's Your Call: What Are You Doing Here? "God is not running a job-placement agency or a personal-fulfillment task force in regards to our lives. His intention, as Dallas Willard said, is for us 'to live as a co-worker with God in the creative enterprise of life on earth.' God has set this whole story up, and He must and will speak personally to us regarding our part in it."

The encouragement Gary speaks of, that we should always treasure in our hearts, is that no matter how difficult life may seem, God will use every event - every joy and every sorrow - to bring you along as a dearly loved child. And, He wants to speak personally to you about it all, too, so that you will not lose heart before your life is over! I encourage you, dear friends, to seek God out and remain open to His teaching, no matter what life may bring. Keep your eyes fixed on the prize and remember what the apostle Paul wrote, "Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:17-18). 

Many blessings this week!

Pastor Jeff

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