The Empowered Church

Devotional

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”

- Corrie Ten Boom, survivor of the Nazi occupation.


Our worries are limitless; we worry over things like how much exercise we should be getting, how our relationships are doing, how to pay that unexpected bill, how we’ll manage to take care of a family member who’s fallen ill. 


Then there are the worries that strike us on a grander scale—devastating flooding in Indonesia, rising tensions between the US and Iran, apocalyptic wildfires in Australia. Add to these the ongoing humanitarian crises in countries like Yemen and Syria—plus a global pandemic that has the whole world on lockdown—and the outlook seems dismal. Jesus wasn’t lying when he said today has enough trouble of its own. How can we maintain our peace of mind at such a time? 


When great uncertainty surrounds us, it is easy to fall into a negative, anxious pattern of thinking. Yet, when such patterns of thinking persist, not only can they rob you of joy and peace, but they can also lead to entrapment. Worry is rooted in fear and usually stems from a real or presumed threat to our well-being. The trouble with worry is that it always focuses on the how instead of focusing on the who.


Perhaps this is why Jesus made it very clear that we shouldn’t waste time worrying because it derails us from trusting in him and creates a roadblock to the freedom He promised us. 


When Jesus went to raise Lazarus from the grave, Mary protested. She worried about removing the stone that sealed his tomb, as it would release the stench of death. But Jesus gives a rebuke: “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God.” He was calling Mary to align her thoughts with his promise to bring Lazarus back to life.  


By allowing anxiety and stress to prevail in your thoughts, you foster worry. Instead of entertaining your feelings of doubt and fear, you can choose to confront those thoughts and submit them to God. When we look at our situation through the lens of impossibility, we take our eyes off of our Lord, with whom all things are possible. He makes a way when we cannot.


The opposite of worry is peace. Jesus is referred to as the prince of peace. As his disciples, we ought to foster peace in all aspects of our lives. One way to do this is to recognize when an intrusive thought comes and then yield that thought to the Lord.


We must never forget that we serve a mighty and powerful God who is constantly at work in all corners of the globe, and despite the constant barrage of negative headlines seen in the media, the world is brimming with good news. At Tearfund, we encounter it all the time. From the child-friendly spaces in Bangladesh’s refugee camp, we hear stories of healing. From the remotest villages in Chad, we hear stories of people cultivating an abundance of crops. There are countless uplifting stories from local churches that are empowering their communities to rise out of their circumstances and become resilient.


Right now, our world faces many uncertainties, but no matter what situation we face, it is important to remember we have a God who loves and cares for us. He has told us, “Do not fear, for I am with you." Because of this, we can have courage when facing our fear of the unknown because we trust in an all-knowing God who has promised to be with us wherever we go.