What’s the Difference Between Worry and Concern?

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Many people express their compassions and concerns by worrying about people or situations. They insist that their worrying is a positive attribute to caring and concern. However, as Christians we know that worrying is a reaction of doubt and can only bring defeat. There is a biblical difference between worry and concern.

 

Webster’s Dictionary defines worry as:

To think about problems or fears; to feel or show fear and concern because you think that something bad has happened or could happen. To make (someone) anxious or upset: to cause (someone) to worry.”

And it defines doubt as:

“To be uncertain about (something); to believe that (something) may not be true or is unlikely; to have no confidence in (someone or something); to fear; to distrust; an uncertainty of belief or opinion that often interferes with decision-making; a deliberate suspension of judgment; to doubt.”

Now, let’s see what Jesus says in Matthew 21:21 about doubt:faith moves mountains

“Jesus answered and said unto them, ‘Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.’” 

Jesus made it clear that doubt is the opposite of “faith”. And He talks about worrying in Matthew 6:25-34:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” 

When we worry about someone or something we focus on the situation from our own perspective and within our own abilities to help, and we ache inside because we know that we can’t do a thing to change it. We become afraid and this is because we have taken our eyes of off Jesus who has told us in 1 Peter 5:7 to “cast all your care upon Him; for He cares for you.” When our eyes and thoughts are still on the situation, we hold onto the burden and Jesus cannot do a thing to help until we let go.

Jesus repeats throughout His earthly3700394412_8a38969da7_m ministry that we should trust Him and tell Him our problems because He hears us and He will give us the victory through them when we trust Him.

Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Jesus is telling us to tell HIM about the things that burden us and that worry us, and to rest in Him because HE will take care of them. And how do we do that?

We take our heartfelt concern and we give it to Jesus in prayer. We need to PRAY, PRAY, PRAY and tell the Lord about the things that trouble us and then LET HIM deal with them.

James 5:16 says, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

He won’t always do it the way we want Him to and that’s because Jesus sees the big picture and we are only focused on the issue at hand. We need to have the faith and confidence in Jesus as our Lord that He’ll hear our prayers, answer them AND do it HIS way, and then we need to let Him do what He has to do. We need to STOP worrying and agonizing over them because they are no longer OUR burdens; we gave them to Jesus who can and who WILL fix the problems. And all we have to do is believe it.

944431_692565744102162_465147567_nWe’re told in James 2:20 that “faith without works is dead.” We might say that we have faith, but until we truly give Him the burden and then step away from it, we really don’t trust Him. But if when we pray we can give Him the burden and then just leave it with Him, we are acting on our faith. And what does James 2:26  say about that?

“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

And there is a way that we can know that we really did give the situation to Jesus and are not just saying that we did. When we can praise the Lord from our heart and thank Him for healing the situation, we’ll feel the release of the anxiety that had previously burdened us. When we are free of that burden, we are filled with His praise just like David said in Psalm 106:12, “Then they believed his promises and sang his praise.”

Can we still be concerned? Yes, of course we can be. But we’ve given it to someone who can do something about the problem, so we no longer have to “worry”. And when the negative thoughts and doubts come – and they will – we have to remember that they aren’t from Jesus, and since we only want to focus on Jesus, we should ignore them and stay focused on the healing power of God.

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”  … 2 Corinthians 10:5

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Let Faith Arise!When we study the Bible and learn all about Jesus, our faith in Him grows and we become more dependent on Him for every aspect of our lives because we know that on our own we can’t defeat the devil, but with God nothing is impossible.  If you want to learn more on how to develop your faith and become a strong and faithful Christian, I’d like to encourage you to get a copy of my book, “Let Faith Arise!” You can get a soft cover copy at Amazon.com or a free e-book copy here. It will bless you and teach you what faith is, how to build your faith and how to use it to the glory of God.

 

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” … Hebrews 11:6

Why We Can’t Walk by Sight

Many of us are standing in faith and believing God for healing, financial release or for some other need in our lives. We have given the situation to the Lord and we truly believe that He has heard us and answered us, and so we live each day in a state of waiting to see the blessing. But we have to be careful to not lose our focus and begin to walk by sight.

When we walk by sight we can do ourselves a lot of harm because it destroys our ability to believe and accept the things we’re hoping for.

Faith is the substance – the energy or the spiritual power – that’s inside us and that gives us the ability to hope and believe.  We can’t see faith because it’s an intangible substance that’s in our heart and in our mind. It’s a trusting and accepting attitude that has nothing to do with what we see in the physical world.

Sight, on the other hand, presents a tangible substance and when we focus on what we see, our natural senses take over and we accept what is in our sight as being what we’re going to get. Once we allow ourselves to walk by sight, we tend to lose the hope we had of getting something beyond what we see.

We live in a natural body that exists in a natural world and that is governed by natural elements.  When we step out into the spiritual world it takes a strong spirit within us to stay focused and to not look into the natural world that’s all around us.

The two worlds are very different and since the natural world is the only tangible one, it’s very easy for us to look with our natural eyes for the things we’re believing for in the spirit. But we can’t walk by our natural sight when we’re looking for things through faith.

We were healed on the cross and when we believe that, God begins to change our body so that it can receive the healing, but sometimes there’s a lot to do and since our body is a natural being, it takes time for the healing to manifest. This isn’t to say that God can’t or won’t give us instant healing because He still does that, but in most cases the Lord works within the system that He created.

Sometimes it can take weeks or months for the body to properly repair itself and become whole again. If we focus too much on what we see now, we may become discouraged and begin to doubt the fullness of the healing that will come later.

Our physical eyes can become our enemies when we’re standing in faith, so we need to close them and look with our spiritual eyes that see us healthy and healed.

We can’t be in a hurry to receive the manifestation of the healing when we’re trusting God for it because He knows the fullness of our problems and He’s fixing all of them. He created us and He designed our body to repair itself and be healthy, so in His infinite wisdom He works within the natural elements of our body and repairs it, one cell at a time.

We have to trust Him and we can’t allow ourselves to focus on the body because then we begin to doubt Him. He’s working through us the whole time and we can’t rush Him and we can’t put a timeframe on Him. We have to believe that He knows best; that He knows the whole situation and that He loves us and is healing us, in spite of what we think we see – or don’t see.

Walking by sight will not only bring doubt into the healing that God is doing in us but it will destroy our faith in Him as our God. We have to walk by faith and believe that He is the “God who heals us” and that “by His stripes we are healed”.

Whether it takes a day or a month or a year to see the fullness of the healing, we need to realize that God knows more than we do and we have to give Him the reverence and the respect to do what He has said He will do in us and that He will do it in His timing.

“But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.” … Malachi 4:2

Stand in faith but don’t murmur

Take your stand in faith and be trusting and patient, but don’t murmur about it!

Often when we are taking a stand in faith it means we’re giving up something that the world says we need while we turn our trust and confidence to God. It can often mean a sacrifice that can be a short term or a long term event. When we start off it’s easy because we are so committed to trusting God and following His plan for our life, but as time drags on we begin to realize that we miss the things we’ve given up – even though we’re still trusting God – and we begin to murmur.

We begin to speak out loud how we miss doing this, eating that or being part of another thing. We start off with quiet remarks and if we’re not careful, we end up complaining about our stand in faith.

What if God said to us, “Well, if it’s too much, go back to the world and follow them instead of trusting me.”  That would be devestating for us. We wouldn’t allow ourselves to have the Lord think that about us and yet, what is He to think? If all we do is murmur about how hard the stand of faith is for us, maybe we really don’t believe it in the first place.

Murmuring caused Moses to have to put his own sister out of the camp for a period while she realized how offensive she was being to the Lord and how her negative murmurings were affecting other people. It was a ritual that they followed at that time, but being put out of the camp today could mean losing our stand of faith altogether.

Instead of murmuring or complaining about the cost we’re enduring from taking a stand of faith, we need to seek the Lord for His strength to get us through it. He knows what we’re going through. He knows the sacrifices we’re making to stand and remain standing. He wants us to keep our faith and trust Him, so if anyone is going to give us the strength to do that, it will be God.

Murmuring is just another one of doubt’s tactics that slips in gently and then grows constantly until it destroys our faith. Words have a tremendous impact on our actions. When we speak positive and declare our faith it makes us strong, and when we murmur and complain about having to stand in faith, it lets doubt in to destroy us.

The next time we feel the oppression coming on and we know we’re going to start murmuring, we should immediately shout praises to the Lord and declare His mighty power in our lives. And when we praise Him, the angels praise Him and there just isn’t any place for anything else. When we stand in faith we cast down doubt and we don’t murmur. We praise the Lord for the victory He is giving us!

“… for the joy of the LORD is our strength.”  … Nehemiah 8:10

Walk by faith and not by sight…

Often when we’re faced with trials in this world we turn to God to try and believe for a good outcome, and there will always be someone around to tell us to “walk by faith and not by sight“. But what does that really mean?

You have a doctor’s report and it’s not good. People are talking at you about things you’ll have to go through, other tests you’ll have to endure and possible outcomes that might not be great – these are the physical facts that you see.

The thing we don’t see is our faith. It is the substance – or the energy of believing – for things hoped for. And in this case it would be for healing.

However, walking by faith is opposite to walking by sight and too often “sight” wins out. Firstly, you have the obvious symptoms of the sickness that’s diagnosed. Then you have doctor’s appointments constantly that confirm it’s real. Then you have a mind that reminds you of many people who have had this and died or have been left severely handicapped. As well, your loved ones offer their condolences and cry for you, reassuring you that this serious.  Everything around you has a strong influence of the negative and that draws you towards defeat.

Faith, however, is hidden deep inside the heart and it tells us what can be if we will only take our eyes off the physical evidence and put it onto God’s Word which is HIS evidence.  He wants us to live long, be healthy, happy and prosperous. Jesus took ALL of our sickness on the cross (by His stripes we are healed) and He gave us His Spirit to dwell in us.

HE GAVE US HIS SPIRIT to dwell in us….this is the same Spirit that lived in Jesus, the same Spirit that gave Jesus the ability to do miracles, the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. Jesus was the Son of God but if Jesus wanted to, He could have chosen rebellion just like Adam did, He could have allowed Himself to be caught up with the life of the people and lost His focus. But He did not! Why?

Because Jesus believed God, loved God and trusted God. Jesus accepted who He was and because of this He was able to work with God’s Spirit who was in Him and become our Lord and Saviour.  When Jesus returned to Heaven, He sent the Spirit back here to live in Christians so that we would have His help to believe in God, to love God and to trust God. When we accept who we are in Christ, and that the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in us, then we stay focused on the truth, on the Word of God and on His perfect will for our lives.

It’s a challenging walk and we need the support of other Christians to strengthen our faith in these times so that we CAN believe for healing in spite of what the doctors tell us.  Walking in faith means focussing on God and speaking His Word over the problem and His will for our lives until we finally believe it.  And once we believe it, God’s Spirit will act on it.

Living in faith gives us insight to God’s world; living by sight drives us into doubt.

For we walk by faith, not by sight“…..2 Cor. 5:7