Don’t Worry Anymore

Posted in Culture, Fear, Perspective, Stress, Worry by PCraig on July 8, 2015

Do you worry too much?  How much is too much?  Who’s definition will we go by?

Personally, I think we live in a stressed-out culture.  I’ve never felt like more people were nervous, anxious, fearful, concerned, angry, up tight and on-edge than today.  Studies have shown that people are more stressed today than in the past 25 years, especially women (according to NY Daily News).

Compare this with the words of our leader, Jesus, who said, “Do not worry about your life” (Luke 12:22).  So, how do some of us go from worrying about basically everything, to worrying about hardly anything?

I think the key is found in what Jesus says in the next few verses.  The principle is this, take a look around and notice the stress level of the birds.  They don’t worry about what to eat, what they will wear, or where they will live.  God has provided everything they need.  If He has done this for birds, then you don’t have to worry because you are MORE valuable than birds!

Finally, He says; if you can’t change little things with worry, then why worry about the rest.  It’s true, worry doesn’t have the power to make anything better, but it can sure make things worse.  I’ve never had anyone come in my office and share, “Pastor, I was having a rough time, but then I began worrying and wow, how things improved!”  

I can’t wait to talk more about this topic this weekend in our series Get Smart on Stress.  If you live around Avon, then invite someone!

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Be Daring

Posted in Attitude, Faith, Fear, Miracle, Opportunity by PCraig on March 12, 2015

Some people that others think are daring just take calculated risks.  The guy that climbs in a rocket to shoot across the Grand Canyon has already jumped smaller venues and has scientific assessment to virtually guarantee success.  Plus, he has a parachute if all his experts are wrong.  The woman who opens a bakery already has many people that have eaten her goods not only love them they are willing to pay for them.  She only needs to figure out how to do it on a much broader scale and enlist great help who believe with her.

Compare this to the majority of people that choose to play it safe, hold onto their cards, limit their risks, and plod along doing the same thing every day.  Who has the most fun?  Is it the person who stays safely on the shore or the one who cruises out to the horizon? Sure, there’s a risk of sinking, but it’s the only way to experience a view that is like no other.

In the Scripture, Jesus walked on water and Peter wanted to join him.  Once Jesus gave him permission to join in the adventure, Peter actually got out and walked toward Jesus.  Anyone familiar with the story knows that Peter eventually sank and had to be rescued.  Jesus looked at Peter and asked, “Why did you doubt?”  If Jesus is already walking on the water and he has invited you to join him, why should you doubt?  Yet, we do.

Why does doubt hold us back from experiencing the thrill of doing what everyone else says is impossible?  You can choose to play it safe and live life in the mundane world of cheap giving, low living, and fearful existence.  But, why would you choose that, when miracles are waiting to happen out on the water?

(Read Hebrews 11)

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Don’t Worry – Be Happy!

Posted in Faith, Fear, Happiness, Worry by PCraig on April 26, 2012

I remember a song by musician Bobby McFerrin, released in September 1988, called “Don’t Worry Be Happy.”  It became the first a cappella song to reach number one on the Billboard chart and even won song of the year award at the 1989 Grammys.  I think one of the reasons for the popularity was the catchy tune, but the other was the positive message that it sent to a culture that is filled with worry.  We worry if we’ll have enough money, about our health, career, children, spouse, and the future.

In the midst of all this worry, Jesus comes along and gives his take on the topic in Matthew chapter six, where He says, “Don’t worry” (must be where Bobby got his lyrics!).  When we read these words of Jesus, our reaction might be, “Easy for you to say Jesus – after all you are the Son of God, but what about me?”  Well, keep in mind, Jesus wasn’t talking to Himself, He was speaking to you and me when He said this.

This past Sunday I dealt with this topic and listed three ways to break free from worry:

  • I will do what God asks me to do.  Start by thinking right thoughts & doing what is wise.  In other words, do what YOU can do first.  You can obey God and take control of your thoughts.
  • I will give God what I cannot do.  You can’t heal cancer – God can.  You can’t protect your children 24/7 – God has angels.  You can’t change people – God can orchestrate events to bring about change.  I can only do what God asks me to do, but I can give God what I cannot do.
  • No matter what happens, I will trust God.  If God answers like you want Him to – you trust Him.  If God doesn’t answer like you want – you trust Him.  If things don’t go according to your plan – you still trust Him & still praise Him.

I don’t know what you’re worried about today, but I know my Heavenly Father watches over me and you.  Just like the old gospel song, “His eye is on the sparrow and I KNOW He watches me.”  I refuse to be chained to worry, distrusting God and His promises.  I will not insult the God of the universe with unbelief, rather I will believe He is who He says He is, and I believe He will do what He says He will do.

What worries do you need to release to God?

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Certain – Uncertainty

Posted in Faith, Fear, Victorious Living by PCraig on April 16, 2011

What’s your favorite Bible story?  Chances are – it contains a lot of uncertainty and drama.  How is that when it comes to our lives, we want less uncertainty and less drama?  It seems to me that God does His best work in the worst of times. 

What’s going on currently in your life?  Unemployment? Health issues? Marital challenges? Financial pressures? Teenage rebellion? Fear of the future?  In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us, yet it is challenging to believe that when there is absolutely no evidence of God as work. 

What do you do when you can’t see God’s hand working on your behalf?  Are you tempted to throw in the towel?  Give into your doubts and fears?  It’s in these times that we must learn to develop our faith in what we can’t see or feel.  The Bible is full of illustrations of people who didn’t have life on easy street.  As a matter of fact, probably the characters and stories you like the most are ones who came through the greatest challenges.  This is why the Bible is a great book to read when you have doubts, fears and pressures. 

Tomorrow, we’ll examine this topic in more detail through a message called CERTAIN – UNCERTAINTY.  I’m believing for your faith to grow incredibly stronger as a result.

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