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Refreshment in Refuge

    by Gina Burgess

Parched Places
Date Posted: September 10, 2017

There are times when a little fear is good... like when walking across a swinging bridge that has no guardrails and the drop down is about 100 feet or so to cold rushing water. Did that one time and my heart still pounds at the thought of it.

Those times don't come around very often. God says we are not to worry. Jesus said, "Do not worry." Angels have told men, "Do not fear." I’ve been told that it’s in the Bible 365 times, one for each day of the year.

Worry is a sin.

So how do we deal with worry? I love what Dale Carnegie said, "Figure out what's the absolute worst thing that could happen, make a plan if that thing should ever happen then set the whole thing aside." We worry about things that 90% of the time do not ever happen. Why is that?

When we are anxious, it affects our thinking. It clouds our thought process and we are consumed about what might happen... then it never does, or rarely does. So, we’ve wasted all that time being anxious. That anxious thinking can make us sick.

Unfortunately, anxious thinking or negative thinking can become a habit and we never realize what we are doing to ourselves. When walking into a room, have you ever thought, "Gee, everyone is staring at me, I must look awful." Or "No one will like me here, they all think I'm stupid." No? Think back to junior high school. Everyone has had a sweaty-palms-heart-pounding-want-to-crawl-in-a-hole moment.

Seriously. Think about that. If it’s happened to you then it has happened to everyone in the room at some point or another. Perhaps, it’s happening to them at the same time it’s happening to you.

In that room, maybe one person, or possibly two, might think snobbishly that you don’t belong, but trust me on this, a room full of people have a room full of thoughts and they are not all centered on you! Well, perhaps if you are the governor or the president, they might. Get a grip on those negative thoughts! Unless, of course, you are carrying a bazooka and wearing a ski mask.

Thought processes can be killers. Judas had a huge problem and wound up killing himself for his thoughts.

Thoughts can be life-crushing.

Jesus called Peter Satan because he thought Jesus should never go to the cross, and Peter even tried to prevent it. Then Peter denied Jesus because he was so anxious.

Abraham was so anxious about how beautiful Sarah was, he lied.

Gideon was so anxious he had to ask for sign after sign. (I think it’s really funny that he was so scared God told him to sneak into the enemy’s camp to hear what they were saying about him. I tell you, if I was scared, I’d run away from not toward the enemy.)

In his anxiety, Moses even argued with God to the point of making God angry. He just didn’t feel up to the challenge of leading the people out of Egypt.

Sometimes we allow some of those life-crushing thoughts to camp in our brains:

"If I don't do this with no mistakes, I've failed."

"This is a total disaster. I made an absolute mess."

"Everybody hates me, I'm going to go eat worms."

Notice the subject of those thoughts. Everything revolves around “I” and “Me.” When your entire thought process is centered around yourself, you’ve built a wall that doesn’t allow any light to come in.

What we don’t realize is those walls have built in speakers that drown out the voice of God. Those walls harden the heart. Those walls steal our joy, destroy our peace, kill our fellowship with God. Those walls are built with supplies from Satan.

Face the fact the world does not revolve around you. We do not live in a world of black and white, but in a myriad of colors and shades. The likelihood of any event striking instant dislike for you in the breasts of a roomful of people is nil and none. Unless you’ve got that terrorist-thing going on.

The bald fact is, our thoughts should not revolve around our own selves, but we should consistently and constantly keep our eyes on Jesus. If Peter had never taken his eyes off Jesus, then he would never have sunk in the waves, or denied him three times.

Jeremiah 17:5 So says Jehovah, cursed is the man who trusts in man, and who makes flesh his arm, and who turns aside his heart from Jehovah. 6 For he shall be like a juniper in the desert, and shall not see when good comes. But he shall live in parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land that is not inhabited. 7 Blessed is the man who trusts in Jehovah, and Jehovah is his refuge. 8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters. It sends out its roots by the stream, and it will not fear when the heat comes; but its foliage will be green; and it is not anxious in the year of drought, nor will it cease from yielding fruit.

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Biography Information:
Gina Burgess has taught Sunday School and Discipleship Training for almost three decades. (Don't tell her that makes her old.) She earned her Master's in Communication in 2013.

She is the author of several books including: When Christians Hurt Christians, The Crowns of the Believers and others available in online bookstores. She authors several columns, using her God-given talent to shine a light in a dark world. You can browse her blog at Refreshment In Refuge.

If you'd like to take a look at some Christian fiction and Christian non-fiction book reviews before the books hit the book store shelves, check out Gina's book reviews at Upon Reflection

Gina is a partner and COO of Common Sense Marketing Strategies, LLC that owns Authors Community and
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