Posted by: pastortomvabeach | November 7, 2018

Thought For The Week November 11, 2018

Can you feel it? Local radio stations and Sirius Satellite radio are already playing Christmas music for those of us who can’t wait! As the days grow shorter and the temperatures drop, the holidays are approaching rapidly. We’re already discussing the Thanksgiving service and Advent observances while recruiting a team to decorate our facility for Christmas.

I believe this is really, as one song says, the most wonderful time of the year. It’s pretty easy to understand. I mean the angel told the shepherds that he had good news of great joy that will be to all people. He didn’t say this good news would only make Christians joyful at Christmas, he said it was for all people. That tells me why so many around the world get happy and love to celebrate a Christian holiday. Jesus brought great joy!

But I understand that for many, Christmas becomes a time of stress, worry, even sorrow or pain. The drive to make our celebration the “best ever” can lead us to needless stress and worry. Memories of past Christmases when our situation was better or worse can create thoughts that impact this Christmas. I read a short note written by Dr. Tony Evans who is the pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship and the President of The Urban Alternative, who is also a noted Bible teacher, and regarded as a pastor of pastors and a father in the faith by many Christian leaders. This short article might help you if the holidays cause worry or stress. It is entitled, Make a Worry Box, and follows:

“There are two days you should never spend a lot of time thinking about—yesterday and tomorrow. Many of us are crucified with two thieves. On the right is yesterday, and on the left is tomorrow. He (Jesus)doesn’t want us worrying about the past, and He certainly doesn’t want us worrying about tomorrow. He says, So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34).

“There was a man who began to worry that he would get cancer because it had been prevalent in his family. He worried about it for 30 years and then suddenly died of a heart attack. My friend, worrying wastes your time. Not only that, it puts within you negative self-talk that can affect your choices and your actions. Should you be concerned about your health? Yes. Should you make efforts to eat wisely and exercise? Yes. Should you manage your money well? Yes. But to be bound to worry on these things will only prevent you from enjoying your health and blessings.

“Jesus told us how to get rid of the worry that He forbids by changing our priorities. He says, Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33). The problem with worry is that we are seeking the wrong things—we need to seek God and His kingdom and everything else will fall into place.

“If you are prone to struggle with the stronghold of worry, I suggest that you make yourself a worry box by cutting a slot in the top of an old shoe-box. When Satan drives you to worry, write your worry down on a slip of paper. Talk to the Lord, and tell Him what you have written down and that you believe He is able to take care of whatever worries you put in that box. You cannot handle them, but you know that He can. Then fold up your worry, drop it in the box, and leave it to the Lord. He promises to give you a peace that can only come from Him.

“Will a worry box make your problems go away? Probably not. But what it will do is shift the weight of those problems off of you and back onto God. He is strong enough to carry that burden for you. Let Him.”

May I add to that, whatever stresses, concerns, difficulties that overwhelm our thoughts and hinder us in trusting God and living in the promise of His joy, can also be dropped into that box. Why not try that this holiday season? Maybe it will wind up being the best there ever was! Only a thought.

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