Victory over worry? pt. 2
FR. SEBASTIAN CAMPBELL
Published: Oct 24, 2013
The Bible says that worry is part of human existence. Telling a person not to worry is like telling a person to deny his emotion and the fact that he is worrying. Showing empathy is recognizing that worry is a vital step in getting the person to find comfort with the biblical principles concerning worry and to be set free by the truth of God.
Biblical principles in
Hope in the living God: A downcast soul needs hope (Psalm 42 and 43). The Psalmist says to himself, “Why are you downcast, O my soul! Why are you so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.” He repeats the same verse three times. If it is mentioned three times in the Bible, then we are not to take it lightly.
Comfort and peace in God’s living word: God’s word is living and powerful. The longest chapter in the Bible, psalm 119 has 176 verses exalting the word of God. Verses 71 and 72 read, “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decree...” Reading and meditating on God’s word gives healing to hurts and protection against attacks to the mind.
Know the truth: “The truth shall set you free.” The opposite of truth is deception. Satan is described as the father of lies. A person’s worry may derive from doubts and untruthful messages. He may be trapped in a state of deception and false guilt. These negative emotions constantly churn up worries in the mind. To know the truth means you will spend time in the word. The word is the foundation of truth.
Trust and obey God’s word: To do this, we must know it. We do not mean understanding God’s word intellectually, for this will not be effective in overcoming worry. The power of the word comes from our spiritual internalizing of the word; we make it personal to us through prayer and meditation. Here is where people refer to a prayer closet or times of retreat. We must use quality time to make this applicable.
Spend time praying rather than worrying: Many who admit worrying are also people who pray very little. No wonder they live in constant defeat rather than victory. In Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Let go of the past: Each of us have a common thing, that is our past is gone, our future is yet to come and we need to live on.
In Isaiah 43:18, we read, “Forget the former things: do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing? Now it springs up; do not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”
Let God take charge: This is normally very difficult to do. How do we offload on God? It comes through a discipline of prayer and spiritual surrender. Having our minds based in a spiritual discipline can help with this. Add more spiritual events to our repertoire. Mass every morning, private prayers and Bible study, occasional retreats and renewal programs have done miracles for many of us. In this effort we are nailing our sins to his cross.
Confession: Many try to down play this. How unfortunate. We all need it. It makes us light again. We all need a spiritual advisor to walk with us, on them we off-load in the name of Jesus. They are our confidante. Read Psalm 32:3-5, “When I kept silent my bones wasted away... Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity.” I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord, and you forgave the guilt of my sin.”
Be content: Covetousness is idolatry and sinful. A spirit of discontent, where we are never happy or where someone else’s success drives us mad is sinful. We reverse biblical admonition from rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep, to rejoice with those who weep and weep with those who rejoice.
We are out greatest enemy many times. This results in choking spiritual growth and many unhealthy, mental-physical consequences.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that” [1 Tim. 6:6-10].
• Rev. Canon S. Sebastian Campbell is rector at St. Gregory’s Anglican Church.