THE WORRIES OF LIFE
by Mike Hixson
Life is often met with an endless array of worry, tension, and stress. Why? In many respects it is a direct result of the pressures associated with twentieth century living. Unfortunately, this is the day of tranquilizers, psychologists and psychiatrists. Think of the countless numbers of people plagued with high blood pressure and other health related problems as a result of stress and worry. Consider also the numerous individuals addicted to alcohol and illegal drugs.
With regard to the stress and strain of daily living, the late Batsell Barrett Baxter has written, “Many of us sometimes find ourselves anxious and troubled about all the things we have to do. Many days are filled with little frustrations and stresses which leave us exhausted and emotionally drained at the end of the day. Then there are the larger stresses and strains which carry over from day to day and week to week, destroying our happiness and peace of mind. None of us are strangers to stress”. (In Troubled Waters p. 10) Since so many people are plagued with tension and worry, the natural question arises, “How can we deal with it in our daily lives?” Consider the following:
1). WE MUST LEARN TO PRIORITIZE OUR LIVES. In far too many instances, transient and temporal things are substituted for things eternal. How sad that some people are only concerned with the here and now. Although Solomon had everything one could possibly imagine from a material standpoint, he recognized that without God life is futile and void of meaning. Thus, he ascribed, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole of man” (Ecclesiastes. ).
2). WE MUST LEARN TO LEAN UPON THE WORD OF GOD. God’s Word is balm to the weary soul. It counsels, comforts and encourages us during the darkened hours of illness, disease, discouragement, despair and death. Furthermore, it is sweet counsel to the anxious in heart. Let us then echo the words of the Psalmist when he said, “Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors” (Psalms 119:24).
3). WE MUST LEARN TO CAST OUR CARES UPON GOD. So many people fret and frown about circumstances beyond their control. Others allow the problems and tensions of life to deprive them of sleep, a proper diet, exercise, etc. Thus, we must heed the wise exhortation found in the Scriptures, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter. 5:7). And we hear the apostle Paul instructing us with these sage words, “In nothing be anxious, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests he made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7, ASV).
4). WE MUST LEARN TO TRUST GOD. Despite whatever obstacles we may face in life, rather than worrying about them, we must trust in God. The Psalmist said, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. The LORD of hosts is with us: the God of Jacob is our refuge” (Psalms 46:1,6).
Life is too often filled with stress, tension and worry. Thus, we must learn to combat it or be consumed.