We Pray That The Seeds Of Truth Contained In This Blog Will Penetrate The Good Soil Of Your Heart And Bear Much Fruit.

Friday, July 6, 2018

It Was Sin Which Wove The Crown Of Thorns

Surely that man must be in an Unhealthy state of soul, who can think of all that Jesus suffered...and yet Love those sins for which that Suffering was undergone!  

It was sin which Wove the crown of thorns!

It was sin which Pierced our Lord’s hands and feet and side!  

It was sin which Brought Him to Gethsemane and Calvary, to the cross and to the grave!  

Cold must our hearts be, if we do not Hate sin and labor to get rid of it–though we may have to cut off the right hand and pluck out the right eye in doing it!”

~J.C. Ryle~

Thursday, June 28, 2018

He Hides The Hook!

2Co 2:11  Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

Satan has his several devices to deceive, entangle, and undo the souls of men. 


Satan has...snares for the wise, and snares for the simple; snares for hypocrites, and snares for the upright; snares for brave, and snares for the timorous; snares for the rich, and snares for the poor; snares for the aged, and snares for youth.

Happy are those souls which are not captured and held in the snares that he has laid!

Satan's first device to draw the soul into sin is, to present the bait and hide the hook...

To present the golden cup and hide the poison... 

To present the sweet, the pleasure, and the profit that may flow in upon the soul by yielding to sin...

And to hide from the soul the wrath and misery that will certainly follow the committing of sin!

By this device he deceived our first parents, "And the serpent said unto the woman, You shall not surely die...for God knows, that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened; and you shall be as gods."

Your eyes shall he opened, and you shall be as gods!

Here is the bait, the sweet, the pleasure, the profit...

Oh...but he hides the hook...the shame, the wrath, and the loss that would certainly follow!

So Satan cheats them...giving them an apple in exchange for a paradise!

Satan with ease pawns falsehoods upon us, by his golden baits, and then he leads us and leaves us in a fool's paradise. 


He promises the soul honor, pleasure, profit...but pays the soul with the greatest contempt, shame, and loss that can be!

Alas! Many have fallen forever by this vile strumpet...


The world, who, by showing forth her two fair breasts of PROFIT and PLEASURE, has wounded their souls, and cast them down into utter perdition! 

She has, by the glistening of her pomp and preferment, slain millions!

~Thomas Brooks~


Saturday, June 23, 2018

At The Cross

The cross, that deepest revelation of the glory of God-is the great weapon which breaks down the heart's defenses!                                    

It is especially the love of Jesus  shown in the cross, which turns and transforms the hearts of sinners.

In the horrifying torture and crucifixion of Jesus, we see the highest proof of the highest love. 


His bleeding, makes our hearts bleed. His shame, makes us ashamed. 

In the cross we see the divine disgust at sin, which makes sin appalling in our eyes as well. 

But further, through the cross we see a love so unfathomable, that it pierces our apathy and overwhelms our desires for earthly trinkets.

At the cross...our pride and sinfulness are mortified..
  

Our self-deifying efforts are destroyed...
 

Our wandering hearts are exposed...
 

The beauty of Christ in His humility and holiness are held before us...
 

And the glory of God shines brightest in all its transforming power.

The atoning work of Jesus is the great gun of our battery. 


The cross is the mighty battering-ram with which to break in pieces the bronze gates of human prejudices and the iron bars of sinful obstinacy!

~Charles Spurgeon~

Saturday, June 16, 2018

He Got Used To It

John had not been saved so very long, but he was greatly enjoying his life.

Salvation to him was the sweetest thing he had ever known.
 

He abhorred sin. 

When he saw sin or heard it in any form, it was very obnoxious to him.

He had a keen sense of its sinfulness.

But after a while John went to work in a factory.

There he was thrown into contact with men of all sorts, most of them given to profanity and obscenity.

How he hated to hear such language! But hear it he must.
 

His soul was vexed continually with it and he heartily wished himself in some other employment.

But as time went on he did not seem to mind it so much, until finally he took it as a matter of course and paid little attention to it.

One day a brother said to him, "John, how do you get along working with all those profane men?"

"Oh," said John, "I've got used to it now."

"It doesn't bother me much any more."

Mary, John's wife, was saved in the meeting where John was saved.

She, too, was very happy in the Lord, but she lived in a neighborhood where the people were much given to gossiping about each other and where about all the women discussed was each other, the scandals of the neighborhood, fashions, and worldliness of various sorts.

Mary had taken her part in this gossiping with the others before she was saved, but after she had found the Lord she abhorred it utterly.

It was very trying for her to listen to it any longer.
 

When her neighbors came in she tried to be courteous to them and to listen to them somewhat from that standpoint, but she tried to turn the conversation to spiritual things whenever she could.

She soon found, however, that her neighbors did not care for such things.

So little by little she ceased to speak of them.

After a while she lost the keen sense of displeasure at their conversation.

Little by little, without her being aware of it, she became interested in the things they talked about.

After a while she began to enjoy hearing the things of which they talked.

She was like John. 


Sin was not to her as it had been.

She had grown used to it.

But since John and Mary had become used to sin, were they the same as before?

In getting used to these things, had they lost anything themselves?

Yes, they had lost something very real, something very vital to their souls.

They did not have the same relish for the Christian meetings that they formerly had.

They did not have the same deep, abiding love for the church as individuals.

They could see faults and shortcomings, that they had not seen before in their brethren and sisters.

They still prayed and testified in the prayer meetings.
 

They still attended and enjoyed the preaching services, but there was not quite the same relish for the things of the Spirit.

Their prayers were not so earnest as before.

They were not so zealous for the salvation of the souls of the people as they had been.

In getting to the place where sin was less sinful to them and less obnoxious to them-they had come to where righteousness did not mean so much to them.

In getting hardened to the sin about them, they had also become hardened to righteousness.

Our love of righteousness and spiritual things, is in direct proportion to our hatred for evil.

Whenever we get used to evil so that it means little to us-then righteousness also comes to mean less than it did to us.

When the great gulf between sin and righteousness becomes filled up with indifference, we almost lose sight of it.
 

We need to be careful that we do not lose our sense of the sinfulness of sin.

It is natural for us to become used to whatever is around us.

There is an adaptability to human nature through which we adjust ourselves to existing circumstances and conditions.
 

If we are not careful, this natural adaptability will take the edge off our sense of the sinfulness of sin...

And as surely as that sense is blunted, something very vital to our spiritual prosperity has been lost.

Lot lived in Sodom and remained a righteous man, but he did so only because he kept his soul in an attitude toward God where he was continually vexed by the deeds of the unrighteous.

He never lost his sense of the sinfulness of sin, and that was the one thing that protected him among the evil people with whom he was surrounded.

The closer we live to God, the more we will hate evil.

The truly spiritual person can never find pleasure in any form of sin, no matter who it is that is guilty of the sin.

God never gets used to sin.

If we retain our godlikeness, we can never become used to it.

Therefore, if we begin to feel less concerned about the wickedness of those around us...

If we realize we are becoming indifferent to it..

If we can hear the name of God taken in vain or hear obscene stories and not have our soul roused in indignation against them...

Then we should be warned that we are drifting away from that high plane of spirituality on which it is our privilege and duty to live.

There is also another side to this question.

People come to realize that they are not as spiritual as they once were.

They realize that they are not living so close to God as they did in the past.

Perhaps they feel it keenly at first and make efforts to recover what they have lost...

But not making earnest enough efforts or not being diligent enough, they do not recover the lost ground. 


They go on realizing they are less spiritual than they should be...

And if they continue in this condition they will shortly get used to it.

They will have a realization of it perhaps when they compare themselves with what they were...

But there comes a sort of indifference, a sort of adjusting oneself to the conditions...

And after a while they are very hard to move to any attempt to regain their lost spirituality.

They have become used to being unspiritual.

They are not just altogether satisfied with it, but they would rather be as they are, than to make an effort to be more spiritual.

So they drift along.

Oh, of course, they would like to be more spiritual like their brethren...

But they have become used to being as they now are, and as they are doing pretty well, why bother about things?

To be sure, they have lost their former zeal, but they have got used to being without it.

They used to feel very keenly when they omitted spiritual duties, but now they have become used to omitting them and it does not bother them so much.

We can get into a place where it is just natural for us to love righteousness and to hate iniquity, to desire to do all we can for God and not hold back from effort.

We can get used to service and sacrifice, and this we must do if we are to prosper in our souls as God designs that we should prosper.

But woe unto us, if we sacrifice those qualities of righteousness in the soul, and get used to sin.

~Charles Naylor~

Saturday, June 9, 2018

DESTROYING The Worry Tree

The vigor and tenacity of life in a tree, is determined largely by the soil in which it grows. 

I lived for many years in a state where the soil is fertile, the ground level, and where beech trees were very numerous. 

I had occasion to belt many of them, and observed that they were very easily killed.

Before that, I had lived in another state where the soil is clay and the country very hilly. 

Here the beech trees were very hard to kill.

I remember a neighbor's attempt at killing a tree that stood by the roadside. 

Not only did he belt it...but his boys climbed the tree and cut off the branches a little distance from the trunk. 

These were then piled around the tree and burned. I wondered why they were taking such radical steps to kill the tree. 

The next spring I learned the reason.

In spite of all of this treatment, the stubs of the branches which had been cut off, grew out new twigs and leafed out. 

New shoots sprouted up. 

With all their labor, they had not accomplished their purpose. 

The difference was not in the climate - it must have been in the soil.

We have already pointed out that the worry tree grows in the soil of doubt. 

We can hold an attitude of doubt, which is favorable to worry and fear. 

On the other hand we can hold an attitude of faith, which is altogether unfavorable toward these things. 

In order to destroy the worry tree, we should change the soil around its roots. 

We cannot uproot it and destroy it by an act of our will. 

We can take away its favorable soil. 

We can develop faith. 

We can believe in God. 

We can turn our eyes away from our worries and our troubles and look upon God. 

We can cease to fertilize the worry tree. 

We can cease to rob ourselves of our heritage of victory willed to us by our heavenly Father.

We can have that rest of soul which God has promised us. 

We can find it only in him. 

But as long as we permit all our time to be occupied with giving attention to our worries...we shall have no time to give to the cultivation of those graces which God would freely develop in us to give us happiness and contentment. 

We so often cultivate doubts instead of cultivating faith. 

It is important that we learn how we are doing this, and then adopt a different course. 

We can all have faith if we will go about it right and faith is the victory that overcomes all of our troubles.

One of the best ways to get rid of worries, is to ignore the doubts upon which they are founded. 

Troubles let alone, have a way of curing themselves. 

As long as we fill our brain with worry we will increase our trouble. 

The less we think about our troubles the smaller they become. 

The more we think about them the more rapidly they grow, and the less capable we are of overcoming them or meeting them successfully.

The surest way to get rid of the worry tree is to cut it down with the ax of faith

There is no worry or fear in trust. 

I repeat this thought over and over...that it may sink deep into your heart and mind. 

When you worry then you do not trust. 

When you trust then you do not worry. 

You cannot do both these at one time.

Permit me to suggest a way to develop your faith. 

Take your Bible and some paper. Write out a list of promises which meet your need. 

Read these promises over every day. Read them until they become real to you. 

Whenever you catch yourself worrying or fearing then get those promises and read them. 

Say after you read each one, "This is true and it means me." Say this over and over until you come to believe it.

Perhaps at first your words will mock you. Perhaps the promises will seem to mock you. I have had the experience. I know how it feels. 

I know also from personal experience, that we can keep right at it, reading these promises, asserting that they are true, asserting that they mean us...until in our own consciousness they do come to mean us.  

They come to soothe and comfort us. They neutralize our fears. 

Little by little we come to trust in them and as we trust, we cease to worry. 

Our fears grow less. We come into a restful attitude. 

There is a sure cure for all of our worries, if we take it. 

That cure is an attitude of simple trust in God and his promises. 

Worry is a mental habit. 

Children are not prone to worry, or if they do, it is only momentarily. 

There is a natural flexibility to the human mind that throws off worry, until we rob it of its flexibility by cultivating the habit of worrying

Any bad habit can be broken so the worry habit can be broken. 

If you are troubled with worry, start in to break yourself of it, just as you would break yourself of any other improper or hurtful habit. 

Worrying is an extremely hurtful habit. 

It is an abnormal mental state possible of correction and we owe it to ourselves to correct it.

We cannot help thoughts coming into our minds...but it is within our power to direct our thoughts. 

We can reject unwelcome thoughts. 

We can compel ourselves to quit thinking, what we do not wish to think. 

We can supplant improper thoughts with bright, cheerful thoughts.

From a long experience of suffering, being confined to my bed, with nothing to do, being in fact unable to do anything, and having sunk to the depths of discouragement and black despair...I finally learned to supplant my dark thoughts with bright ones. 

I found that I must keep my thoughts off of myself...

So I deliberately turned my thoughts into other persons and ideas. 

Of course, the old gloomy thoughts reasserted themselves but as often as they came back, I supplanted them with something else, and finally broke myself completely of the habit of worrying and of thinking depressing thoughts.

One thing very needful, is the will not to worry.

Suggestion has a profound effect upon us. 

Our thoughts have this power of suggestion. 

We can suggest negative ideas to our minds or we can suggest positive ideas. 

We can suggest discouragement or we can suggest encouragement. 

We can make our minds run in the channel in which we choose for them to run. 

Positive suggestion is the basis of a happy and successful life. Make your thoughts help you rather than hinder you.

One trouble with many people is that they are always resisting something. 

They are always on the defensive

This attitude of resistance toward our circumstances and surroundings, places us under a continuous strain. 

One writer has said, "Most nervous patients are in a constant state of muscular contraction; but a large percentage of the things that harass and vex them, causing them nervous tenseness, would cease to torture them if they would simply stop resisting. 

It is our perpetual resistance to annoying trifles which gives them power to annoy us."

I do not advocate surrender to circumstances. 

What we need is to adjust ourselves to them. 

This constant revolt against circumstances so common in many people, takes the joy out of their lives. 

It keeps them under a perpetual strain. 

It uses up their energy to no purpose.

Do not use up your energy resisting circumstances. 

Displace the undesirable by something else, if that is possible. If not, adjust yourself to it...make the best of it. 

Let us use as great intelligence in these matters, as we do in others. When I am cold I do not resist the cold...I seek warmth. 

When I am hungry I do not resist hunger...I seek food. 

When I am weary...I rest. 

When I am anxious or worried...I turn to faith and trust. 

The psalmist said, "What time I am afraid I will trust in you." 

He had learned the secret of overcoming trouble.

The word worry is not in the Bible. 

You may look for it from cover to cover. You will not find it. 

As God did not think it necessary to use the word worry in the Bible, or have it used there...just so it need not be in the Christian life. 

To be sure the equivalent to worry is in the Bible. We find fear, trouble, and words of like nature but we are commanded not to be afraid, not to be troubled.

Many people are like those of whom the psalmist speaks. They are "in great fear where there was nothing to fear" (Psalm 53:5). 

Most of our troubles are imaginary, or if there is real trouble then we add much to it through our imagination and fear. 

Some people are so afraid of trouble, that they are never at rest. 

They are frightened at nothing; even as it is written, "The sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them!" (Leviticus 26:36)

Listen to this promise: "Whoever hearkens unto me, shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil" (Proverbs 1:33). 

He would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear . . . all the days of our life (Luke 1:74, 75).

The experience of the psalmist may be our experience if we will do as he did: "I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears" (Psalm 34:4). 

We shall also do well to hold an attitude like that of the psalmist: "The Lord is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalm 27:1). 

The result of holding that attitude is stated in verse three, "Though an army should encamp against me my heart shall not fear; though war should rise against me in this will I be confident. 

Read also Psalm 46:1, 2, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging." 

Again, "In God I have put my trust I will not fear what flesh can do unto me" (Psalm 56:4). The exhortation of Christ is, "Be not anxious" (Matthew 6:25). 

Read also verses 31, 34; Luke 12:25, 26. Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled" (John 14:1). 

What reason does he give that we should not be troubled? 

He continues, "You believe in God." To him, that was sufficient reason for not worrying. It ought to be sufficient reason to us. 

In verse 27 he says, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you…. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

Now, for a concluding thought which we shall do well to keep fresh in our minds. When we trust in and obey God then whatever comes to us must come in his will. 

It cannot come without his knowledge. 

His watchful care is ever over us. He will always keep us, no matter how many troubles come. 

Therefore if we abide in him and his Word abides in us then we shall never have cause to worry. 

We are safe and secure, no matter how threatening future or present troubles may be. 

So cut down your worry tree with the ax of faith and rest in full assurance of faith in the righteousness and love of God.

~Charles Naylor~


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

FERTILIZING The Worry Tree

Some people are not satisfied to have a worry tree, and to permit it to grow as it will. 

They fertilize it and water it. 

Oh, they do not mean to do this! Nevertheless they do it.

They would like to be rid of their worries. Very often they worry over their worries. 

I once knew a woman who was so given to worry that when everything was going well and she could find nothing to worry about...she would worry because she thought things were going too well, and would certainly change for the worse.

Nor is she the only person of this sort I have seen. 

But how do we fertilize the worry tree?

There are many ways. Some of them we shall recount... 

First: We increase our worries by failure to face the facts calmly.

We are like some horses. We become frightened at some things which have in them nothing that ought to frighten us.

When we come to realize this, we are sometimes quite ashamed of ourselves.

When there is a threatening or unpleasant prospect before us and we are tempted to worry over it - we should not allow ourselves to become excited or agitated.

We can meet things in calmness, better than we can when agitated; when we are masters of ourselves better - than when we are the prey of our fears. 

We should face the facts...all the facts.

We should not merely take note of the ones that oppress our feelings most.

Our tendency naturally is to look at the worst side, to be impressed by the most threatening elements, and to overlook the favorable ones.

We are influenced by our feelings more than by sound judgment; and by our fears, more than by our courage.

Troubles often look much worse than they are.

In fact, we can usually bear them better than we suppose we can - but we are naturally disposed to take one look at any threat, then fear the worst. 

One of old said, "I feared a fear..."and it came upon me."

Why did his fear come upon him? 

Because fear made him adopt an attitude that opened a way for its coming.

He threw down his shield of faith.

He began to tremble and shrink.

If he had resolutely faced his fear...then it probably would never have come upon him. 

Failure to give weight to the facts we know, will fertilize the worry tree.

Very often we know that we can meet trouble if we will.

We know there are certain favorable aspects that we should consider.

But instead of giving attention to these, we look entirely at the unfavorable appearances.

We forget that the weapons of our warfare are mighty through God. 

We are like a soldier who told of an experience he had in our Civil War.

One day he was riding out with a comrade when suddenly they came face to face with two of the enemy.

There was a lively exchange of shots.

In the end one of the enemy lay dead upon the ground, while the other was severely wounded.

Upon returning to camp this man examined his revolver.

To his surprise not a shot had been fired.

His companion had done all the shooting that had overcome their enemies.

He had sat on his horse like a statue, fearfully forgetting all about his part. 

I think that all too many of us, when we face a conflict - forget our weapons and the ability we have to use them, and instead of fighting we worry, and worry.

Second: Another mistake we make, is giving way to our feelings rather than controlling them.

Our emotions are easily stirred, whether they be joyful emotions or the opposite.

Very often bad feelings assert themselves...fear, doubts, timidity, foreboding.

We give place to them.

We let them run riot.

We fall into a panic. 

We should take command of our feelings. We should master them.

Our action should be a response to good judgment instead of to our emotions.

Many people are tormented by the foreboding of evils to come, and these forebodings are the source of disturbances in all the faculties.

This need not be if we will control ourselves and make the intellect rather than the emotions, the captain of our soul.

Third: We fertilize the worry tree, by exaggerating the possibilities of evil and by not considering the probabilities of good.

When we are threatened with some evil, let us ask ourselves the question, "Will this thing necessarily turn out evil?

Will it necessarily prove to be what it looks as though it might be?

Will the results assuredly be what they promise to be?" 

Let us look at the factors that may balance these possibilities.

Let us give due weight to the possibilities on the positive side.

Let us ask ourselves whether we are not adding to the real dangers by our imagination.

Let us see if we are not magnifying the chances of things going wrong.

Strip the circumstances of the seeming and get down to the reality.

They will usually be found to be much less dangerous than they appear, and we shall see that there is little if any cause to fear them. 

Fourth: A fertile source of trouble is self-pity.

I know of nothing that can torture a soul more than self-pity...

And this self-pity has in it an element of cowardice.

We say, "Oh, it is too bad that I must suffer so.

It is too bad that I must have such trouble.

How unfortunate I am!

How much trouble I have to endure!

Why can I not get along easily as do others?

Why must my way be so rough?

Why must I meet so many difficulties?

Oh, my poor self! What shall I do?

If one wants to make himself thoroughly unhappy...let him adopt such a course.

It matters not whether there is anything really calculated to produce unhappiness.

Self-pity of itself is sufficient to make us miserable.

Get rid of self-pity if you want to be happy, for you never will be happy while you have it...except with that poor sort of satisfaction which comes through feeling sorry for one's self. 

Fifth: A twin sister to self-pity is a disposition to seek the sympathy of others and to enjoy telling our troubles, magnifying them in a way to excite sympathy.

These things shrivel up the soul. 

We often increase our fears and troubles by telling them to others.

The more we think of them and the more we tell them...the deeper the impression made upon our own mind by them. 

Sixth: A further source of trouble is questioning the loyalty of others to us or their interest in us and sympathy for us.

Do not expect other people to worry because you worry, or to fear because you fear.

If we show ourselves real soldiers and meet difficulty with courageous, hopeful, forward-looking faith, and then things go ill with us we may expect ready sympathy.

If we show ourselves cowards, if we whine and sniffle then to bestow sympathy upon us would be to waste it.

Seventh: And finally, we fertilize the worry tree by questioning God's faithfulness and love and mercy. 

Have you been fertilizing your worry tree?

If so you have only yourself to blame if it spreads itself over all your dwelling, and if it sighs day and night in the mournful breeze, like the somber moaning of the pine.  

~Charles Naylor~

Monday, May 28, 2018

God Deals Mysteriously With Me!

Just so, God deals mysteriously with me

His footsteps, His judgments, His methods, are often untrackable, like the untried sea. 

What though I cannot comprehend all His winding mazes?

It is enough that He comprehends.

I rest in His wise-heartedness and love.

I know that if He surrounds me with change, He gives me a hold on what is permanent and stable. 


Every breath of wind, every passing shadow, every ray of sun, alters the sea. 

And, meanwhile, by God's will, nothing in my life continues unchangeable. 

The very mutableness of things, drives me into closer communion with Himself. 

Standing on the Rock of Ages, I am rooted in an element that is indestructible.

I know that if He permits me to be assailed by storm, He can keep my heart in peace. 


It is His decree that I am driven hither and thither over moonless waters by contrary winds.

But the certainty is mine, that He makes all things to work together for my good.

He is my holy Father, my unerring Father, my Father of immeasurable grace. 


He makes no mistakes now, and, by and by He will bring me to His house not made with hands, where I will sing with everlasting joy!

~Alexander Smellie~
                                    

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Song Of Confidence

Psa 138:7  Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.

Wretched walking in the midst of trouble...

Nay, blessed walking, since there is a special promise for it. 

Give me a promise, and what is the trouble? 

What doth my LORD teach me here to say? Why this -- "Thou wilt receive me." 

I shall have more life, more energy, more faith. 

Is it not often so, that trouble revives us, like a breath of cold air when one is ready to faint?

How angry are my enemies and especially the archenemy!

Shall I stretch forth my hand and fight my foes! 

No, my hand is better employed in doing service for my LORD.

Besides, there is no need, for my God will use His far-reaching arm, and He will deal with them far better than I could if I were to try. 

Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the LORD.

He will with His own right hand of power and wisdom save me, and what more can I desire?

Come, my heart, talk this promise over to thyself till thou canst use it as the song of thy confidence, the solace of thy holiness. 

Pray to be revived thyself and leave the rest with the LORD, who performeth all things for thee. 

~Charles Spurgeon~

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Worry Tree

The black walnut tree has a peculiar quality that affects the soil about its roots with a poisonous substance very unfavorable to the growth of many kinds of vegetation. 

Some grasses may grow under it but many other plants shrivel and die.

Something in many lives corresponds to the black walnut tree. 


In its baneful influence, the godly life cannot develop.

This noxious tree grows in the land of unbelief. 


It is found nowhere else. 

It is the worry tree. 

Many lives are cursed with this tree. 

It is one of their most prominent characteristics. 

It spreads its shadow over everything. 

It shuts out the sunlight.

It poisons the soil. 

It draws up into itself the resources of the soul as a natural tree draws water from the soil, leaving spiritual faculties and powers parched and impoverished...

It prevents their proper development and fruition.

Worry is one of the worst things that can come into a life...


Perhaps only sin is worse; worry may even become sinful. 

It is a form of fear. 

Fear, worry, anxiety, foreboding...are all the same in effect and will all be treated together here.

The worry tree does not grow in the land of faith. 


But in the land of unbelief and questioning...

It spreads its great roots of doubt deeply into the soil. 

The results of worry are too numerous to be recounted in full.

One result is that wherever worry is given place, it stops the song of joy. 


We cannot be glad, when we worry. We cannot be free and happy. 

The moment we worry...then peace, joy, satisfaction, comfort, all vanish. 

The sun goes behind a cloud. A chill wind blows. 

Many people make themselves utterly wretched through worry. 

Its effects are not merely spiritual. 

The whole being is poisoned by it. 

Perhaps it would be well to consider some of the effects worry produces. 

If we know those effects then it may help us to avoid their causes.

We note first, the physical effects...


Certain glands that control the bodily functions are excited to action by fear. 

They secrete a powerful substance that is poured into the blood stream and produces immediate effects. 

It is this that enables one to run faster when danger threatens, or to expend greater energy than at any other time. 

A good purpose is served by these glands...but when they are constantly over-stimulated by fear, worry, anxiety, or any other emotion--then they produce too great an effect upon the nerves. 

This tends to make one nervous, and nervousness in turn reacts to produce fear and worry. 

This action and reaction continued, repeated over and over, breaks down the nerves.

A great many nervous people are what they are, simply because they have given way to worry. 


It upsets the whole course of nature.

Many physical disorders are the direct result of worry. 

A few quotations from medical authorities may help to make this plain...

Doctor McCoy says, "The mind can have a powerfully stimulating effect toward either health or disease."


When the mind is properly used and controlled--then health may be maintained under many adverse conditions...

But...when the mind is torn by conflicting, destructive emotion...then it kills the very cells it is supposed to guard over and control.

Again he says, "You must realize how important the mind is as a factor in the production of many chronic disorders."

Sometimes this process is so insidious as to be unrecognized except by the closest attention of a skilled diagnostician. 

In my practice I have seen a number of cases of paralysis which were induced by fear.

Although these patients had been to many different doctors and undergone many different kinds of treatments, they were not cured until this fear factor was recognized, and then the cure took place almost instantly."

Doctor Copeland, once health commissioner of New York City, says, "Worry has a pronounced effect upon the organisms."


The digestion is upset because the nerves controlling the circulation and muscular structures are 'jumpy' and disturbed in function. 

The intestinal action is disturbed...

The brain and nervous system are upset...

The glands operate irregularly...

The whole system is deranged...

Good teeth, as indeed good eyes and ears and heart and blood vessels and liver and kidneys--are dependent on lack of worry and plenty of restful sleep. 

Worry is deadly to vigor and usefulness.

A whole book of this sort of quotations could easily be selected...


Dr. G.H. McIntosh says, "If men could wipe out all fear from their minds...then nine-tenths of them would be free from sickness."

Henry Ward Beecher said, "It is not work that kills men--it is worry!"


Worry is rust upon the blade.

The mental effect of worry and fear, is equally as great as the physical effect. 


Through worry people often work themselves up into a sort of mental fever so that their nerves "go to pieces." 

When we worry, the mind cannot think clearly...

Minor difficulties seem out of proportion...

They do not seem natural--but appear altogether different from what they do when the mind is in a normal condition.

Sometimes worry produces great mental distress...

Sometimes it partly or entirely unfits one for work. 

Have you not heard people say, "I am so upset I just cannot do anything!"

This mental condition reacts upon the body...


The physical effects of worry react upon the mind; and we have a harmful set of actions and reactions set up, destructive alike to mind and body. 

An agitated state of the mind, affects the brain and tissues....

The poison created in the body through fear and worry, reacts upon the brain tissues and the mind becomes still more troubled.

These things are not imaginary. 


They are being suffered by thousands of individuals. 

People get up in the morning tired out. 

They have no energy. 

They have to drive themselves. 

This is one common effect of worry. 

Another common result of worry is lack of mental control, so that the mind cannot concentrate on anything.

Worry also has a spiritual effect...


It destroys faith. 

In fact, faith and worry are mutually destructive...

Faith will destroy worry and  Worry will destroy faith. 

So whichever is given ascendancy, will destroy the other...

Worry stimulates doubts. 

The more we worry the more we doubt. 

We have heard people talk about blind faith...

Faith is not nearly so blind as doubt. 

Doubt cannot see favorable circumstances...

It sees everything in an unfavorable light, and magnifies it. 

There may be ever so many favorable elements in a situation but doubt sees none of them. 

Worry sees none of them.

Worry brings gloom and discouragement...


It makes one moody, forgetful of God's goodness and mercy and helpfulness.

In fact, worry shuts God out of the picture. 

It causes us to forget him or makes us doubt him. 

Under the influence of worry, we draw the most gloomy mental pictures. 

We clothe everything in somber shades.

Worry also prevents us from exercising our abilities. 


With worry, there is a great troop of evils...

They cluster around it and add to its damaging influence. 

Worry is always evil. 

It never serves any good purpose. 

It never aids us in accomplishing anything. 

It never makes anything easier. 

It has nothing to recommend it.

More than that, worry is never necessary. 


Mark well that statement. 

It is a positive truth. Worry is never necessary.

First, worry never can help us. 


It can never make things easier or better. 

It never did any good.

It never cured any trouble.

Second, we do not have to worry...


There is always a better way. 

We shall attempt to point out that way later.

Worry is altogether folly. 


It not merely does no good--it always makes matters worse. 

It weakens every good thing. 

It strengthens every bad thing. 

Worry is a noxious tree and it bears poisonous fruits.

Have you one of these poisonous worry trees? 


You must rid yourself of it before you can sing the glad songs of rejoicing that come from a free soul. 

One of the secrets of the singing heart, is the remedy for worry.
 

~Charles Naylor~