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Worship or Worry?

Instead of worrying about our circumstances, God wants us to worship him for his faithfulness.


There's an old Greek proverb that says, "The bow that is always bent will soon break." What that proverb seems to be implying is that the bow that is always under pressure, that never has an opportunity to release or let go, will soon break into a million pieces. If there was ever a proverb that fits the society in which we live, this is it.

Many people, like that bow, are strung out, full of tension, turmoil, fear, and frustration. If one more thing enters their lives, they will snap. If I had to choose one word to summarize how people feel today, I would have to choose the word worried. People are worried today. Many of you have come here with certain concerns on your mind. Some of you are wondering about finances. Others are wondering about unemployment. Some of you parents are worried about your children. Some of you children are worried about your parents.

I grew up in rural Ohio, and sometimes the level of our boredom got to the point where my friends and I would get together late at night and go haunted-house hunting. We'd usually find one down a dusty, narrow lane, where you could hear the shrubs scraping like fingernails against the car. We'd get out of the car in pitch darkness. The wind would be whistling through the trees, and a hoot owl would be singing his song. The house would be just like you would imagine: a dark, gray, imposing figure with the windows broken out and the shutters falling off. The broken picket fence always had a squeaky gate that swung lazily back and forth. We'd go into the house and turn on the flashlight. If you were to reach out and touch us at that moment, you'd have to peel us off the ceiling. Every step was one of caution. Every step was one of concern. Every step was ...

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Rod Cooper is Kenneth and Jean Hansen Professor of Discipleship and Leadership Development at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and author of Holman New Testament Commentary: Mark (Volume 2) (B H Publishing, 2001).

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I. God is in control

II. We are the sheep of the Great Shepherd

III. God is saddened by our worry