I was involved in a personal Bible Study recently and I decided to look up the word “worry” in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance to see how many times it might be used in the King James Version of the Bible. Much to my surprise, the word “worry” is not mentioned in the Bible, at least not in the Authorized version of the Bible. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I looked and looked and could not find the word. I even called a friend of mine and asked him to look up “worry”. He searched and searched but told me that he could not find it. He too, was astounded. The Bible uses the term “take no thought” of something. In some translations it uses the word, “anxious”. We are told not to be “anxious” over something or “take no thought” of it. It is speaking of what we know as “worry”.
A dear friend of mine, Jim Courson, the Dean of realtors in the Augusta, GA area, is known for giving out his famous pocket calendars each year. It seems everyone wants one and they ask him if he has some new ones when the end of the year starts rolling around. He orders a couple of thousand of them each year and people now consider it a tradition to get one of Jim’s calendars which also advertises his real estate business. Recently, Jim had some other cards made which have a “Worry Table” on them. When one reads the contents of the card they suddenly realize that worrying is something we just don’t need to be doing. Worry signifies that we don’t have trust in the One who knows all and has everything under His control. It also says that we are in control and that we don’t know how to solve our problem. So, we worry!
Let me share the contents of that little card and you think about it yourself.
Things we Worry About…
1. Things that never happen….40%
2. Things that can’t be changed by all the worry in the
3. Things that turn out better than expected…15%
4. Petty, useless worries….8%
5. Legitimate worries….2%
The total of all those percentages is 100%
Here’s the point: It’s 50 to 1 against the worry being a real cause for concern.
A couple of years ago I decided that I was tired of worrying about things. It makes one miserable and after being a Pastor for almost 50 years, I had become a person who found myself worrying about many things concerning which I had no control over. I also felt that worrying was betraying a trust in God so I came up with this little approach to a very human experience. I decided that I wasn’t going to worry about anything until I had something to be concerned about. The Lord showed me something I want to share with everyone and it is this: If there is nothing between you and God to keep Him from blessing you then you are open for His Blessings. If there is nothing illegal, immoral or unethical between you and Him, then whatever it is that is causing you to worry will not be an issue in your life in thirty days or less. You will no longer be concerned with it. It won’t even be crossing your mind. And, I have found that if everything is straight between me and God that, usually, I won’t be concerned with my “worry” in two leeks or less. It will be gone with not another thought from me.
Most of the things we worry about are things we bring upon ourselves. Those things have to be dealt with and we can’t expect God to solve our own self-induced problems. He can and will help you though them but we shouldn’t do stupid things and then want God to solve them. He didn’t do it; you did. But, if something has been thrust upon you at no fault of your own, and you have a relationship with Him such that there is nothing illegal, immoral or unethical between you and Him, (see the underlined portion above) you can appeal to Him for help and He will assist you.
Now, I understand that no everyone will follow this little formula concerning worry but I would advise you to give it a try and remember to trust the Lord to help you with your response to whatever your source of worry happens to be.
Reverend William (Bill) Harrell has been in ministry 48 years. He served as the pastor of Abilene Baptist Church in Martinez, GA for over 30 of those years. He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also check out his blog at www.williamfharrell.com