PurposePursuit

What a Friend We Have in Jesus!

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The story was told of a man who knew grief like the palm of his hands. Joseph Scriven was born in County Down, Ireland, but he moved to Canada after the drowning of his fiancee some days to their wedding. In Canada, he became engaged again, but his fiancee became ill and died before they could be married.
In his grief, Scriven determined to devote himself to a life of service.

Later on, there were two men who offered to contract him as their wood cutter only to be shocked by the fact that the hardworking man served only people who could not afford to pay him back.
Not long afterwords, he received word that his mother was ill. He couldn’t afford to return to Ireland, so he sent his mother a poem in the hope that it would comfort her.
The poem began:

“What a friend we have in Jesus, 
All our sins and griefs to bear! 
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!”

He thereafter submitted a copy of his poem to a religious journal, where it was published. A few years later, in 1866, he died. But his poem lived on in ways that he could never have
imagined. It was published in a book of hymns by Ira Sankey, a musician who worked with Dwight L. Moody.

I am drawn to the the following lines of this classical hymn: 

O what peace we often forfeit, 
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

This is so true! The Psalmist understanding this stated that he could lie down and sleep soundly because he trusted the Lord to keep him safe. The point of my sharing with you this week is this: if you will not let go of your cares and burdens and let God take care of you, your potentials will be wasted needlessly! Life may drop a lot on your plate, but let these words of Paul be your guidepost at all times:

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Phil. 4:6 MSG.

This week I ask you to let go and let God. We have a friend in Jesus!

PurposePursuit

The Rocking Chair

The story is told by Winston Churchill, of an old man who declared on his deathbed that his life was full of many troubles many which never happened.

Our minds are always prone to attacks from the Devil through anxiety and worry. We are always trying to figure things out- even things beyond our understanding. We worry about the success of a programme we are organising, we worry about financial provision for our plans. We worry about what to share. We are prone to worrying about everything and anything.

In his book, In the Secret Place, J. Otis Ledbetter asks a critical question, “When you think about it, isn’t our anxiety over such uncontrollable factors and circumstances the very thing that keeps us from accomplishing great things for God?”

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“Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere”- Dorothy Galyean

Worry rubs us of peace, joy and helps us misuse the valuable gift of time. Some people can even be said to be addicted to worry! If they do not have something of their own to worry about, they’ll look for other people’s problems to worry about. Worry attempts the impossible task of making us know and understand all things. If this was possible, what would make God who He is?

It is absolutely impossible to worry and live in peace at the same time. – Joyce Meyer.

I want to share very briefly three things the Scriptures say about worry. I trust that we will learn to agree with what the bible says about this disposition of ours so that we can enjoy life in full.

  1. Worry weighs you down.

“Worry can rob you of happiness, but kind words will cheer you up.” (Prov. 12:25 GNT)

This is wisdom from King Solomon. Worry does not add anything to us. Rather, it weighs us down and keeps us from living fully to die empty.

  1. Worry achieves nothing.

“And besides, what’s the use of worrying? What good does it do? Will it add a single day to your life? Of course not!  And if worry can’t even do such little things as that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?” (Luke 12:25-26 TLB)

Our Lord Jesus said worrying is like fussing before the mirror and lamenting about your height- you are definitely not going to grow taller thereby. Dutch Christian and author of The Hiding Place, Corrie Ten Boom once said that “worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.” Worry is never a value adding service!

  1. Worry is a choice

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers.” (Phil 4:6-7 TLB)

One thing I love about the Scriptures is the fact you are never given a Don’t without a Do. It appears to me from Paul’s letter to the Philippians that worry is a choice we make in the stead of prayer. We are simply instructed to worry about nothing but pray about everything. Eugene Peterson puts it thus: “Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.”

I have refrained from talking about how not to worry, or how to walk out of anxiety. I believe the Scriptures simply instructs us not to worry but asks us to pray. I do not wish to complicate this  simplicity with tips of self-help.

So, what do you do when you have something you are tempted to worry about, pray and before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s really wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

©2014, Alabi AimPurpose IfeOluwa
All rights reserved.