God’s cure for heart trouble – Greg Laurie – www.worldnetdaily.com and www.harvest.org
You may remember the grinning, gap-toothed character from Mad magazine, Alfred E. Neuman. His slogan was, "What, me worry?"
It makes you wonder if old Alfred has looked around lately, because there is plenty happening in this crazy world of ours to cause worry and stress.
Let me ask you, have you ever felt stressed-out to the max, where it seemed like everything went wrong – all at once? Then, just when it seemed like it couldn’t get any worse, it did!
One of the advantages of this information age, with its cell phones, iPhones and BlackBerries, is that we receive all the latest information 24/7. And that’s also one of the greatest disadvantages. We’re barraged by information – much of it negative. And that gives us even more to worry and be stressed about.
Stress is serious stuff. Studies have suggested that high levels of stress can lead to obesity and trigger a raft of diseases – everything from heart attacks to ulcers, depression to nervous breakdowns. Even cancer can be stress-related. In the U.S., many sources will tell you that up to nine out of 10 visits to physicians may be triggered by a stress-related illness.
We are stressed out by the many frightening things in our world today. As we might read right here at WND, more nations – like North Korea and Iran – are developing nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. We wonder how long it will be before one of those missiles slips through our national armor. Then there are the worries about possible pandemics, super viruses and antibiotic-resistant disease strains that could potentially sweep across whole nations.
Then there are our personal fears that cause stress. You may know of someone who has a fear of heights, small spaces or flying. In fact, people have phobias for just about everything imaginable. I recently read an article that claimed up to 50 million people in the U.S. have some kind of fear or phobia. Without a doubt, life is certainly filled with troubles. Job 5:7 tells us, "Man is born to trouble."
Disappointment is a trouble, and there are many disappointments. We are disappointed with ourselves because we are not always what we want to be. We want to be strong, but we are weak. We want to be successful, yet we experience many failures. We want to be loved, but people often are indifferent toward us.
Circumstances can also be a source of trouble, whether it’s the loss of a job, stress in our marriage or worries about some of the choices our children are making. There are a lot of things that can cause us to be stressed out and afraid.
But my intention isn’t to add to your stress. Instead, I want to share with you the words of Jesus to stressed-out, agitated people. It is God’s cure for heart trouble. In a moment of great fear and worry, Jesus declared: "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me."(John 14:1).
When Jesus spoke these words, the disciples were reeling from some of the things He had just told them. One of their numbers was actually going to betray Jesus? How could it be? And Simon Peter would deny Jesus? That was terrible, unbelievable news. Then came the biggest bombshell of all. He was going to leave them! At that point, they couldn’t begin to understand why He had to die how He would be raised again or later live in their hearts. They only heard the part about His leaving. And that filled them with fear.
The phrase, "Let not your heart be troubled," in verse 1 could be translated, "Don’t be agitated, disturbed or thrown into confusion." Or, "Don’t let your heart shudder!" In light of the cross that loomed before Him, He was saying, "It may look like your world is falling apart and that darkness will overtake you, but don’t let your heart be troubled!"
Notice He didn’t say, "Mull over your problems." As people who have put their faith in Jesus Christ (and I hope you have done that), regardless of what cause we may have to be troubled, there is greater cause not to be. Which brings us to God’s cure for heart trouble: Take Him at His word.
Jesus said, "Believe also in Me." Actually, this wasn’t a request; it was a command. Jesus was saying, "Believe that I know what I’m doing here! My word is true. You will see that in time."
It’s still true today. God has given us a user’s manual for life called the Bible. Now, I don’t know about you, but I hate to read user’s manuals. This is a problem, because I also love electronic gadgets. But invariably, when I try to put something together or program something on my own, I always end up doing the one thing you should not do.
How many times have I said it? "If only I had read the directions first!"
The Bible gives us direction and warnings to guide us in our everyday lives, but we have to read those directions before they can do us any good. In 2 Timothy 3:16–17 we read, "All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do" (NLT).
The book God has given to us is more than a step-by-step instruction manual for life. It is also a road map that will lead us to heaven after this short life on earth is over.
With a mighty resource like that available to us, and a loving God to walk with us through the valleys and mountain tops of life, why should we waste time on worry?