Read: Philippians 4:6,7 |
Quicksand has a “killer” reputation.
The word alone evokes an image of someone trapped and desperate to escape the clutches of the quagmire. In movies, such a dramatic scene usually ends in the demise of one of the characters. However, in the spiritual realm, this situation does not need to be fatal.
Quicksand forms in saturated loose sand when the sand is suddenly agitated. If a person steps into quicksand, the best thing for them to do is to be still.. Even though it is counter-intuitive, very slow movement will cause the person to sink, only to the point of buoyancy. Once attained, the person will float. On the other hand, excessive movement will cause the person to sink beneath the surface.
In our spiritual lives, we can fall into situations that we struggle to overcome. Subsequently, we feel ourselves sinking and going under. As we struggle with the situation, we can easily succumb to the quicksand of worry. Overcome by worry, we can lose sight of God. At that vulnerable point, we struggle within our own strength and fail to be still and allow God to work on our behalf.
Excessive worry causes emotional and spiritual paralysis
Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, prophesied as God told him for 40 years. Though he did God’s will, no one listened to him. In fact, he was the last prophet that God sent to the cold-hearted southern kingdom before He cast them out of the land.
Jeremiah was frustrated and concerned. He cried tears of sadness and carried a burden for these lost people. Called initially at 17, he kept begging them to listen year after year.
Jeremiah’s constant anxiety, loneliness and isolation finally got the best of him, and he became discouraged. Like many believers, he sank into a quicksand of worry and doubt because he thought his efforts were not making a difference and time was ticking away. Jeremiah was emotionally spent, even to the point of doubting God (Jeremiah 15:18).
When we are in deep despair like Jeremiah, the Bible clearly teaches that even then Christians are not to worry. Philippians 4:6 tells us not to be anxious – worry – about anything.
If we falter and worry leaks into our lives, worry is positive when we use it like a polish to embellish our plan. Worry is negative when we allow it to be a perpetual parasite. At this point, it begins to poison and paralyze us emotionally and spiritually.
Worry is contagious without the right prescription
God did not allow Jeremiah to stay in the quicksand of worry. Jeremiah 15:19 records a lesson for each believer to remember in those times when we feel alone, useless, and discouraged. God tells us to come back to Him and that He will restore the joy of our salvation. [Life of Jeremiah, http://www.gotquestions.org/life-Jeremiah.html]
Jeremiah, though caught in the quagmire, learned the prescription for his worry was faith in GOD. He learned to cast his anxieties on God instead of carrying the burden himself (1 Peter 5:7).
To worry or not to worry? Yes, that is the question! Worry is a choice.
Jesus asked, “And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span?….” (Luke 12:25-26 NASB) In essence, what is the benefit of worry?
Paul writes in Romans 8:28, that “All things work together for good for them that love God….”. The Bible is full of examples and pertinent principles that teach us that worry is not profitable. Yet, we do it.
Listen. When you approach a circumstance where you are inclined to worry persistently, try something different. Focus and train your mind to stay fixed on the Lord and your heart to trust in Him. Avoid the quicksand by being “quick” to “stand” and place your confidence in the Lord’s presence, provision, and power. Then, you will experience the supernatural peace and contentment that belong to us in Christ. (Philippians 4:6,7)
1. Discover –
A. Make a list of things you tend to worry about or grow very anxious about? Rank the top 10.
B. When you worry about one of your top 10, how long do you worry? How do your friends react to your worrying?
2. Develop –
A. Study Philippians 4:6,7, Break it down phrase by phrase to explore the deeper meaning. Use a commentary if possible.
B. When we are advised to “Cast our cares on Him,…” in 1 Peter 5:7 how well do you apply the concept to your top 10 list of worries?
3. Demonstrate –
A. Using your list of top 10 worries, ask God for help. Ask Him to help you leave the prayer with Him in the morning and give you the peace and strength to carry on.
B. Share with your prayer partner that you are trying to worry less and trust God more. Ask them to help you stay on track.
Profiles on Waiting Outline
Postures we should adopt when waiting for/with/upon God
1. Wait on Time (link)
2. Watch for Him (link)
3. Wait by walking within Touching Distance (link)
4. Work while waiting upon God’s Answer (link)
5. Willful Waiting does not Wilt (link)
6. Weather the Storms while waiting under His Umbrella (link)
7. Wait with an Unwavering Faith (link)
8. Wait while avoiding the Quicksand of worry (link)