August 28, 2012

The Answer to Worry

 Two jobs . . . 80 hours a week . . . no relief in sight. I’m not worried about myself; I know how to live without things. But what about my kids? No child should have to worry about having enough to eat or wearing clothes without holes in them. And even when we do get “new” things, we have to go to the food bank or the thrift store. Those experiences are going to be branded in their minds forever. I don’t know what to do.

It is written: “Be anxious for nothing, 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 comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6, 7).*

Ugh! I hate how she treats me! It’s like the more I try, the worse it gets. How can I work for someone who constantly belittles me?
It is written: “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt. 5:44).

Maybe it’s easier to just give in and get it over with. Of course, I know it’s wrong; but I can’t take it anymore! I’m sick of this nagging and anxiety. I want to do the right thing. I’m just not sure that I can keep resisting this. I feel like a broken record, falling into the same mistake again and again.

2012 1522 page32It is written: “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it” (1 Cor. 10:13).

Happily married for 25 years; and now he isn’t sure he can “do this anymore?” What does that even mean? When I said “for better or for worse,” I really meant it. I guess it didn’t mean as much to him. I guess I don’t mean that much to him.

It is written: “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor. 13:4-7).

Ican’t believe the cancer is back. It’s like I’ve been riding a rollercoaster for the last six years. Diagnosis. Remission. Celebration. Devastation. I just feel like giving up. What’s the point to living in constant pain anyway?

It is written: “And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; . . . And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new’” (Rev. 21:4, 5).
Meeting Worry with Scripture
No doubt, a devastating health problem, terrible boss, or impossible financial obstacle has at some point dominated your inner thoughts, taking all your energy to resist.

Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, suggests the perfect antidote to apprehension and anxiety. “When you think about a problem over and over in your mind, that’s called worry. When you think about God’s Word over and over, that’s meditation. . . . The more you meditate on God’s Word, the less you will have to worry about.”

It’s great advice; especially considering the method was routinely employed by the only perfect Person to ever walk the face of the earth. In Matthew 4, while starving, dehydrated, and exhausted, Jesus met Satan’s every temptation with weapons straight from Scripture. This wasn’t something He just randomly decided to do, it was a practice cultivated from His earliest years.

Speaking of Jesus’ childhood, Ellen White wrote, “But to every temptation, He had one answer, ‘It is written’” (The Desire of Ages, p. 88).

Sounds like a pretty good answer to me.

*All Bible texts in this column are taken from the New American Standard Bible.

Jimmy Phillips ([email protected]) writes from Bakersfield, California, where he is electronic media coordinator for San Joaquin Community Hospital. Visit his Web site at This article was published August 9l, 2012.