Volume. XXVII, No. 17
Sunday, 21 October 2012


Are you a Christian Worrier?


We must all readily admit that worry is a common temptation in life; for many it is a favourite pastime. Australia, one of the most affluent societies in the world, is also one of the most worry-filled societies in the world. What is worry? Worry is basically a sin. It is neither insignificant, nor inconsequential. And for the born again Christian, it is absolutely contrary to faith in Christ. Jesus categorically prohibited worry in a familiar portion of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:25-34. Three times (v.25, 31 and 34) in that short passage He commanded, "Take no thought!", and the way He said it shows the comprehensiveness of His charge. The phrase “Take no thought” basically means “stop being perpetually uneasy, anxious and worried.” In verse 25, Christ acknowledges worry as a common practice and says, "Take no thought" in verses 31 and 34 He uses the same word, but in a way that means "Don\'t even start worrying." To continue worrying about anything, or to start worrying in the first place, is to violate Christ’s command explicitly taught in this passage. If we worry, what kind of faith do we manifest? "Little faith," according to Jesus in Matthew 6:30. Now if we are children of God, by definition we have a Heavenly Father. And to behave like we don\'t--nervously asking, "What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?" is to act like an unbeliever in God\'s eyes (vv. 31-32)—and that is a sin!

Just imagine Christians who believe God that can redeem them, break the bondage of Satan, bring them out of darkness into His marvellous light, put them into His kingdom, and give them eternal life, but don\'t think He can get them through the next week or the next couple of months. That is pretty unfortunate, isn\'t it? To believe God for the greater gift then stumble and not believe Him for the lesser one reveals an embarrassing lack of faith, and we would be committing the sin of unbelief. Instead of being a Christian warrior, we effectively become a “Christian worrier”.

The Christian Worrier Strikes Out at God


Some people might say,
"Why make a big deal out of worry? It\'s just a small sin." No, I do not think it is. I suspect a majority of mental illnesses and some physical illnesses are directly related to worry though I cannot verify this from a medical point of view. It is commonly known that many cases of drunkenness and drug addiction are symptomatic of worry and anxiety. And because of worry and anxiety, many make foolish life decisions, incurring painful lifelong consequences, thus hurting themselves and their loved ones. Worry is devastating to one’s Christian walk. But more important than what worry does to us is what we are communicating about God to others who are still outside of God’s kingdom. When we worry we are saying to our non-Christian friends in effect, "I do not believe that God can be trusted.” In the same manner, we are also telling God, “I just don\'t think I can trust You." You see, worry strikes a blow at the person and character of God and brings a negative testimony to the God we claim to trust and believe.

The Christian Worrier Disbelieves Scripture


It makes me sad to hear some Christians claim to believe in the infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture, and then live as perpetual worriers. If we do this, we are saying one thing out of one side of our mouth, and another thing out of the other. It just does not add up to what we claim to believe because it is incongruous to say how much we believe the Bible and then worry about God fulfilling what He says in it.

The Christian Worrier Is Mastered by Circumstances


When the Christian worries, he is choosing to be mastered by his circumstances instead of the truth of God. We must be reminded that the trials of life pale in comparison to the greatness of salvation and the immense grace the Lord has bestowed upon His elect. Christ, the Shepherd of the Sheep, wants us to realise it doesn\'t make sense to believe He can save you from eternal hell fire, but not help us in the practical matters of life. The Apostle Paul reflects a similar desire in Ephesians 1:18-19: "
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power.” When we catch ourselves worrying, may we go back to Scripture and let God open our eyes again to see His hand of guidance and the promises of His Word instead of the circumstances around us.

The Christian Worrier Distrusts God


When we worry, we are not trusting our Father in Heaven. That could mean we don\'t know Him well enough. May we be encouraged—because there is an effective remedy: study the Word of God to find out who He really is and how He has supplied the needs of His people in the past! That will build confidence for the future. Stay fresh in the Word every day and meditate upon it as the Psalmist suggests (Psalm 1:2) so that God is in our mind. The pagans (eg. Buddhism and New Ageism) believe that we need to empty our minds before we can tap into divine guidance—that is totally wrong and Satanically dangerous. The Christian does not empty his mind but fills his mind with what is
true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report and of virtue (Phil 4:8), thus constantly renewing the mind so that he may know the acceptable and perfect will of God. If the Christian chooses to empty his mind, Satan is apt to move into the vacuum and tempt him to worry about something. May we allow the Scripture to assure us that worry is needless because of God\'s bounty, senseless because of God\'s promise, useless because of its impotence to do anything productive, and faithless because it is characteristic of unbelievers.

Worry Is Unwise Because of Our Future


Our Lord Jesus said to His disciples, "
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" (Matt 6:34). Christ was saying, "Don\'t worry about the future. Even though it will have its share of problems, they have a way of working themselves out at the time. Just deal with them as they come, for there\'s no way to solve them in advance." Planning and preparing for tomorrow is good, but worrying about tomorrow is sin because God is the God of tomorrow just like He is the God of today. If we only trust Him today and not in the near future (i.e. tomorrow), we do not really trust Him as our God who is in control of tomorrow. Lamentations 3:23 tells us His mercies "are new every morning." God feeds us today like He fed the Children of Israel yesterday—with just enough manna for the day so that we may learn to depend upon Him in our daily walk.

Conclusion:

Dear readers, worrying paralyses us, making us too anxious to accomplish anything productive. It will seek to do that to us by taking us mentally into tomorrow until we find something to worry about. It is time for us to change that mentality. The Lord says you have enough to deal with today. Apply today\'s resources to today\'s needs or you will lose today\'s joy! God gives us the glorious gift of life today; live in the light and full joy of that day, using the resources God supplies us. May we not push ourselves into the future and forfeit the day\'s joy in Christ Jesus over an anticipated tomorrow that may never happen. Today is all we really have, for God permits none of us to live in tomorrow until it turns into today!

Ps Weng

 


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster: Today’s Team Leader: Bro Boong Atijatuporn. Next Lord’s Day: Dn Colin Gan

*Hope Bookstore: Open today: 12:30 - 1:45 pm.

*All worshippers are encouraged to attend the Adult Sunday School Class after Worship Service, the Wednesday Pastor’s Bible Study group, and to join a Neighbourhood Bible Study Group.

*Transport Ministry: Volunteers needed to transport worshippers to and from Church every Lord’s Day. If you can help, please see Dn Tony Law.

*Next Lord’s Day Fellowship Lunch is catered.

 

Praise & Thanksgiving

1. Journey mercies: Bros Raymond Ang (Adl/S’pore) & Raphael Ng (Goolwa/Adl); Sis Mary Ting (Adl) & others who have arrived safely.

2. Church Activities in past week.

3. God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.

4. Visitors & new worshippers.

5. Job - Sis Amanda Kheng.

6. 13th Anniversary Thanksgiving of Ebenezer BPC (Melb) today.

7. 62nd Anniversary Thanksgiving of Life BPC (S’pore) today.

 

Prayer Items

1. Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev & Mrs James White; Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Bro Len & Sis Margaret Pearson (Nursing Home); Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Bros Elton Law & Kang Fun Tan (S’pore); Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth (Nursing Home), Margaret Hooper, Lai Kheng Chiong, Myung Ki, Irena Kurek-Braden (NSW), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Lehia Paauwe (Per), Susan Varadi (Nursing Home); Mr Swee Liang Ng (Bro Raphael’s father); Mr Mang Soo Ong (Sis Gillian Ong’s father); Mr Wong (Dn Wai Kin Wong’s father); Mrs Maggie D’Mello (Dn Edwin’s mother in Mumbai) & Mrs Chuilin Yap (Malacca); Mr Tony Zhang; & others in affliction.

2. Cambodia Missions - Rev David Koo & Ministry (Sihanoukville); Bro John Saray & Ministry (Kampot).

3. Laos Missions - Bro Surish Dharmalingam & family.

4. Ministry in New Life BPC (London): Ps & Sis Ki. UK Visa application & return of passports on time.

5. Batam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry.

6. God’s Comfort - Those afflicted & grieving.

7. iSketch&Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry & Ordination - Pr HS Lim  (Melbourne, Vic).

8. IBPFM (USA) - Rev Keith Coleman & Board members; missionaries in India & South America.

9. Ps & Sis Weng - Ministry in Hope BPC.

10. Rev Dr Mark Lehman - Ministry in Kaoshiung (Taiwan)

11. House of Hope (Cebu) - healing & Salvation of drug addicts

12. Journey mercies: Bro Raphael Ng (Goolwa/Adl); Sis Margaret Hooper (Cruise); & those who are travelling. 

13. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.

14. Full-time Job - Sisters Michelle Lee (Melb) & Corinne Teng; & others looking for  stable jobs.

15. Unity in doctrine & fellowship of all B-P Churches

16. Health in pregnancy - Sis Josephine Wong.

17. Year 12 students - Sisters Nicole Chia, Kimberley Gan & Rachel Ting.

18. University students - preparation of assignments & for end of the year exams.

19. Believers under persecution in Islamic nations.

 

 

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PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063