Do Not Fret

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“Do not fret”.     ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭37:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Not “fretting” is easier said than done.
The original Hebrew word here for fret is “charah” and  it means to kindle oneself with a spark of anxiety or worry, whip it up into an inner frenzy and feed it facts or wonderings until it is a voracious fire in your soul that burns long and hot like the oil fires in the desert.
The picture is one who burns until they are charred.
That is what fretting will do to you.
The King James Version says, “Fret not thyself” which reminds that no one can get me to fret but me.  I do it to myself. It’s not God or others that do it  – I do it.
Do not fret.
It is a command, not a suggestion.
It doesn’t help your situation or your heart. It doesn’t halt, change or stop things from happening. Fretting and incessant worrying steals your focus, burns up your energy and leaves you with a crispy attitude.
It is not your job. 
The rest of the verse tells us that it’s God’s job to deal with what other people are doing. He is good at it.  He knows what is happening. He sees what is going on. Let the Lord worry about what others do or don’t do.
Let God be God.
You do you. 
What is the best thing to do when a spark of fear ignites a frenzy of anxiety?
Douse it with the Word and have your favorite verse handy to pour all over it.
One of my favorites in the face of a good fret is:
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬
The word “affliction” essentially means “pressure”.
My friend, when the pressure is on, spend your energy pursuing hope. Don’t quit when things get hard.  If you must work on something, work on keeping your heart open and filled with the wonder and expanse of God’s love. 
Center yourself in Christ.
Focus on God’s goodness instead of other people’s choices.
Fix your eyes on Jesus and do what he has given you to do today.
Do. Not. Fret.

Faith

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“So that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men (human philosophy), but in the power of God.”     1 Corinthians 2:5 AMP

When your faith rests in the wisdom of man, it falters because at it’s best, it is a human attempt to explain the divine.

When your faith rests in feelings, it surges and wanes like the waves of the sea.

When your faith rests on experience, it morphs into whatever you are experiencing now, good or bad.

When your faith rests on Jesus and what He has done for you, it is the rock upon which the waves of emotion break, the wisdom that confounds the wise and the truth that gives your experience perspective.

Stop worrying about how you feel, what others say or what happened in the past.

Put your faith in Jesus and who He is.

He is bigger than your fears, knows what to do with your worries and is working behind the scenes to bless you.

May today be filled with the promise of the finished work of Jesus in your life and bring you to a new level of faith that is not tossed by emotions but anchored in God’s unchanging love for you.

What do you need to trust Jesus with today?

Worry to Worship

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“I’ve thrown myself headlong into your arms-I’m celebrating your rescue. I’m singing at the top of my lungs, I’m so full of answered prayers.”
Psalm 13:5, 6 MSG

A whisper of fear can wedge open the door of worry.  Instead of being focused on all the wonders of your world, the worries of it eclipse your perspective.

Jesus has a better idea.

Instead of being caught up in worry, throw yourself headlong into worship.

When you worry, you are focused on what if’s, what’s next and what is going to happen?

When you worship, you are focused on God’s faithfulness, goodness, and love.

The shift from worry to worship is like being transported to another world. The tightness in your chest releases and opens up, faith floods in and overflows.

The things you are worried about might not change but by changing your focus from worry to worship you will dramatically change how you experience them.

When David wrote this, he was in the middle of a battle. He had not seen the rescue or seen his prayers answered yet but he had decided he was tired of looking at the battle and looked up to God instead. He decided to celebrate the coming rescue, fill his heart with the kind of overflowing gratitude that comes when you see the answer to your prayers. David just didn’t feel like waiting until he saw it- he wanted to celebrate the victory now.

You know what I love about God? He doesn’t mind when I decide to party prematurely. He doesn’t shake his finger at me and say “You just need to wait until you see it with your eyes then you can celebrate”. No, that is the world’s way. God’s way is to celebrate before the battle is won, say thank you before you get the gift and dance in the jail cell before you are released!

Because the battle has been won on the cross, the gifts are on their way and
the release has already been secured by Jesus himself.

It is time to break away from worry and break into worship, my friend. To throw yourself headlong into the arms of Jesus and worship him for all he has done, all he will do and most of all – for who he is. He is Lord, Savior, Redeemer and the Son of God.

Run from worry and start celebrating the victory that is on its way.

What is your favorite worship song or album?

When was the last time you shut out the world, pumped up the volume and surrounded yourself in worship?

How will you make that happen today?

Small Worries

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“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”

Luke 12:25, 26 NIV

Small worries can become big distractions.

They distract you from living loved and loving fearlessly.

What are you worried about today, my friend?

Is it something that is in your hands to change or something out of your control?

If it is something within your power to change, I am asking Jesus to give you the courage to do it. To step out in faith, following His leading and do what you can do.

If it is something out of your control, something you have no power to change, I am asking Jesus to meet you in the place of your fear and give you the power to release it to Him. You may not have the power to change it but He does.

Jesus is bigger than your fear and able to provide what you need.

May a small worry be transformed into a powerful moment to release and trust in the One who holds the universe (and you) in the palm of His hand today.

Drop Every Fear

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“I bless God every chance I get; my lungs expand with his praise. I live and breathe GOD; if things aren’t going well, hear this and be happy: Join me in spreading the news; together let’s get the word out. GOD met me more than halfway, he freed me from my anxious fears.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭34:1-4‬ ‭MSG‬‬

You will have lots of opportunities today to worry, to second guess and be anxious.

You will also have lots of opportunities to bless God, breathe in His presence and receive His joy.

They are the same opportunities, it is what you do with them that makes the difference.

Take a deep breath, expand your lungs and your faith.

Take every opportunity you get to worry today and turn it into worship.

Turn every chance you get to stress today and turn it into a moment to trust.

God will meet you more than halfway and will use every chance you give Him to free you from your fears.

The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭27:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Take every chance, drop every fear and let the Lord be your stronghold today.

Reset Your Rest

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Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.”

Psalm 116:7 NIV

Don’t let a bad attitude rob you of a good opportunity to be used by God today.

The very best way to change your attitude is by reminding yourself who God is and who you are in Christ.

When the world crowds in on you and makes you feel claustrophobic with all the “things needed ASAP”, it is good to take a moment to chill out and remember that God is good and has been good to you.

It resets your perspective and returns your internal state from “fret” to “rest”.

Unwind your worry.

Reset your soul.

God has called you to be a change maker where you are.

He will give you everything you need to do it including reminding you to get out of the way.

Let go of all the things you can’t control today and reset the one thing you can- your attitude.

What does re-setting your soul to rest in Jesus look like for you today?

Secure

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It is exhausting to live your life grasping for security but not ever really holding on to it.

“A grasping person stirs up trouble, but trust in GOD brings a sense of well- being.”‭‭ Proverbs‬ ‭28:25‬ ‭MSG‬‬

It can be triggered by envy, fear or sometimes a sense of personal failure. It is always triggered by focusing on “me, myself and I .

It is based on the belief that you don’t have what you need or enough of what you need to be secure, so you keep grasping for it in relationships, personal accomplishments, financial security and so on.

The original Hebrew word used for “trust” in the verse above means “secure”.

You can live your life from a place of security instead of insecurity.

That security is found in the love of God.

Put down the worry and fear that is plaguing your life and lift your hands in worship.

Spend some time in the presence of Jesus. You will find more peace in worshipping God than you ever will by focusing on yourself and what you lack.

You do not need more of you (or a better you, a better relationship or more stuff) to be more secure- you need more of God.

You are His precious child. That doesn’t mean life’s journey will be easy, it means that He will supply you with what you need to live it.

You can stop trying to feel secure in who you are and embrace the reality of whose you are.

Your identity comes from Jesus, not your family or lack thereof, not from your accomplishments or shortcomings, not from your success or failures but from Him.

My prayer for you today is that you unfurl the grasping grip of insecurity and lift them up in worship to God. May you worship Him for who He is and be reminded whose you are.