How to Be Free From Worry

Friday: The Man Who Never Worries

In this week’s lessons, we learn that not only does Jesus warn us not to worry, but he also provides us with a cure in commanding us not to do it.
The Man Who Never Worries

At this point someone may be saying, “I can see from the reasons you’ve been giving that I should not worry, but still I do worry. Is there an answer? What is the solution for me personally?” I believe the answer to this question is a simple one.

First, you must recognize that all the promises Christ has made in the Sermon on the Mount are for Christians. And so if you’re not a Christian, you must begin by straightening out this question. Every so often someone says to me, “If God has promised to take care of all our needs, how come there is so much poverty and deprivation in the world?” The answer is that the promises of God’s care are for Christian people only. They are for those who have accepted the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the one sufficient ground for their salvation, and who have come to trust Him and to commit themselves to Him personally as their Savior. If you do not believe these things, and if you’ve not trusted Christ personally, then the promises of God’s care are not for you. So begin here and begin now, you can do it today.

Second, if you are a believer, you need to add to your initial experience of salvation all you can learn about God’s nature and His ability to care for His people. I begin most Sunday morning worship services in my church with a passage that teaches this exactly: “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:28-30). In other words, according to Christ’s invitation, you are to learn all you can about Jesus Christ. As you learn about Him, you will grow strong in faith, knowing that He is able to do the things He has promised. 

Finally, you need to get in the habit of turning to God whenever you feel worry approaching. Your reaction in trouble should be something like a conditioned reflex. You know what a normal reflex is. If your hand accidentally touches a hot stove, your body will jerk the hand back. You don’t need to think about it, it comes naturally. A conditioned reflex is the same, except that it needs to be learned. A conditioned reflex may be illustrated by the reaction you have in stepping on the brake when you see a red light, or in rising to your feet when someone begins to play “The Star-Spangled Banner” or sing the “Hallelujah Chorus.” These reactions are almost automatic, but they do not result from instinct. They come from training or practice. In the same way, we need reflexes that will turn us to the Lord at the first sign of trouble.

Most persons have reactions of one sort or another. Some persons turn in upon themselves when they see trouble approaching. Others turn to some other person. Your task, as a Christian, is to supplant these or any other reactions that you may have with a behavioral pattern that turns you toward God. If you do not turn to God, you will worry. If you do turn to God, you will increasingly come to know that divine tranquility that passes all understanding and that is able to give you peace, even in a time of great trouble. 

In one of the early Greek manuscripts from the first centuries of the Christian era, there’s a record of a man named Titedios Amerimnos. The first part of that name is a proper name. But the second part is made up of the Greek word for “worry” plus the prefix meaning “not” or “never.” In other words, the second name is a descriptive epithet, like the second part of Frederick the Great or James the Just. Many have thought that this man, as a pagan, constantly worried. But after he became a Christian, he stopped worrying. He was then called Titedios Amerimnos—“Titedios, the Man Who Never Worries.” You should be able to add that statement to your name. You should be able to write “John Smith,” “Betty Jones,” “Charles Miller,” (or whatever it may be) and then add, “The One Who Never Worries.”

Study Questions
  1. What is the second part of the answer for how to be free from worry? What steps will you take in response to this part?
  2. Explain what Dr. Boice means by a conditioned reflex in response to worry.
  3. Contrast how unbelievers try to deal with worry with how Christians are commanded to handle it.

Prayer: Do you know anyone who is struggling with worry, but who does not appear to be a Christian? Pray for the opportunity to explain to them how only by having salvation in Christ can they have peace in such circumstances.

For Further Study: Download for free and listen to Donald Barnhouse’s two-part message, “Why Worry?” (part one) and “Why Worry?” (part two). (Discount will be applied at checkout.)

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