Human beings are natural worriers. In fact, not to worry is downright supernatural! We are attracted to worry like bees to honey. The only thing is, honey is sweet while worry is bitter indeed.
Worry is an insidious enemy. If it gains a foothold in our thinking it will worm its way into every nook and cranny, poisoning our outlook on life, disrupting peaceful sleep, eating away at our joy. Eventually it can give us a sense of dread about the future and cause us to live life in panic mode.
As Christians, we know the Bible says “be anxious for nothing” and “do not be worried about your life.” Even a cursory reading of the New Testament makes it clear that fear is never an appropriate response for a Christian. So now we are not only worried, we are worried about worrying!
So how do we quit worrying? The answer lies in the other half of the verses just quoted.
Matthew 6:25-33: “… do not be worried about your life as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on … for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
When I am worried I need to remember that God loves me. He really loves me! He cares about all the things that are concerning me. As an action point, I can again choose to put Him first in my life, obey Him in the smallest detail, and renounce the things in my life that displease Him.
Philippians 4, the chapter from which the other quote comes, gives us lots of good, practical advice for living godly lives, but about worry, verses 6-7 give us the key.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Instead of worrying, I can take my concerns to God. I learned long ago that thanksgiving drives out a heart of despair, so I present my concerns to God with thanksgiving, knowing that I am leaving these worries in His capable hands. No matter the outcome of my worrisome situation, I can trust my sovereign God to have wisdom and love greater than mine!
The supernatural promise of these verses is that when I give my concerns to God, His totally irrational and unreasonable peace takes over my heart and mind. The dread and panic leave and I can stop striving and rest in Him. What I could not do in my own effort, stop worrying, God does for me. The peace of God is supernatural and overcomes my natural tendency to worry.
The root problem in all these worry issues is unbelief. Yes, worry is a faith issue. Fear is faith in the wrong thing: faith that something bigger than God is going to happen. Dread is fear that God’s grace will not be sufficient if this or that happens. Worry says, “I have to fix this because God might not.” It is always so much easier to do something than to trust God.
My worry will be in direct proportion to my lack of faith in God, His love, His power, His goodness. That makes worry pretty serious, doesn’t it? No wonder the New Testament talks about it so much! But the remedy is also clear:
- Repent for my unbelief.
- Put God first in my life
- Give thanks and pray.
- Receive forgiveness and peace.
May you receive the sufficiency of God’s grace and and the keeping power of His peace today.