When You Worry

worry.jpgOkay — sometimes I worry.  I worry about the future.   I worry about decisions.  I worry about things I have no control over.  Then, I will catch myself.  I will become painfully aware that I am trying to handle life on my own and live out of my own strength.  What is incredibly comforting is to realize that I am not alone.  God’s forever presence in Jesus through his Spirit is mine to claim.  No, that is not a "fix."  It is actually better.  Most of the time what we need is not a fix, rather it is to learn how to see life from God’s vantage point.  THAT is what it means to live in reality.  

 
One of the great promises that Jesus made at the end of his life is recorded at the end of Matthew.  It is an important promise.  The promise is a reminder that his presence is forever.  After commissioning his disciples to make disciples of all the nations, he makes this promise: "…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:20).  His forever promise is a reality through the Spirit of God who dwells in each one of us.  Does his presence have practical, everyday implications?  Absolutely!

 
How do I make it through this cancer?  “I am with you always.”

 
How do I deal with such a difficult marriage?  “I am with you always.”

 
How do I remain in this university and live the way God wants me to live instead of lowering my standards? 
“I am with you always.”

 
How do I live with the courage to do what is right?  “I am with you always.”

 
How can I be a person who doesn’t get paralyzed by the disapproval of others?  “I am with
you always.”

 
How can I be a person who is passionate about reaching others who do not know Christ?  “I am
with you always.”

 
How do we rear our children in such a godless world?  “I am with you always.”

 
How do we move forward as a church and at the same time make wise decisions?  “I am with you
always.”

 
How do we pray believing that things will be different as the result of prayer?  “I am with
you always.”

 
How can we be a church that is dead?  Dead to sin. 
Dead to self-centeredness.  “I am with you always.”

 
How can we be a church where we build up, encourage, and commit instead of give up, cave in, and run away?  “I am with you always.”

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14 thoughts on “When You Worry

  1. Yes, yes!  And what do I need to do (or not do) in order to cultivate an awareness of that splended promise?  I want to be aware of His presence every moment of the day.  He is with us always, I just don’t always know (experientially) it. 

  2. I like Brother Lawrence’s way in The Practice of the Presence of God.  It is a discipline to remember that God is always with us.  It takes practice (that means failure sometimes) to make the presence of God a part of our lives.  I think I’m still failing more than I’m succeeding, but that’s what practice is for.

  3. Good thoughts. I am reminded of 2 Cor 1 and Paul’s talk about the comfort of God. While there are some context issues to be aware of what strikes me is how "in touch" God really is. He even knows what struggles we have and is willing and able to do something to help and comfort us. He has to be present in order to do that and I am certainly grateful that he is! James, that is a wonderful books. 

  4. Jim, I think it’s so true that we must learn to count on Christ’s presence individually and together.
    I am amazed in my own life how he makes his presence known so consistently. Yet I’m also amazed at how consistently I feel like he’s not present and I seem to be living in a dearth. Maybe that’s because God knows I need this so that I will thirst for him.

  5. Ben,I like your last sentence.  How true.  Always present but knowing it experientially may be another matter.

  6. James,Very true!  Thanks also for mentioning that wonderful book, The Practice of the Presence of God. Thanks!

  7. Matt,Like you, I find it amazing that God is so in touch and aware of every struggle and every difficulty in your lives.  As you suggested, this just leaves me feeling very, very grateful. 

  8. Jesus is fully with us, what a promise! What a reality. The secret is that we would be aware and attentive to it. Something I have found helpful in developing my awareness of God is: when I notice God – I need to name it (I need to put language to what I have noticed) and then to encourage this I need to nurture this practice (through spiritual exercises). Notice, name, and nurture… for whatever it’s worth – it has been some helpful categories for me in growing my awareness and attentiveness to God’s presence.

  9. Doug,This is very good and quite helpful.  Thanks very much for passing on what has been helpful to you. 

  10. Jim, the way in which you often give application to the concepts of your post like the last lines of this always bless my day and show a great pastoral heart, and challenge me to the praxis of a practical theology and life