Worry is a continual tempation in life, isn’t it? And there are reasons to worry: ISIS, shootings, illness, mounting credit card debt, faltering relationships, rebellious kids, and on and on and on.
But God says,
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 understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7, NKJV
Be anxious for nothing? Does this mean if you worry, you’ve committed. . .sin?! (Yes. And knowing you’ve fallen short of the mark might create even more worry, right? Ugh!)
In this short article you’ll discover. . .
- The good news: You’ve got company.
- The better news: God provides a plan to dump worry like garbage.
Worriers Jesus Loved
Worry pestered Martha of Bethany. She whirled like a dervish in the kitchen while her sister, Mary, sat at Jesus’ feet, listening, learning, loving.
But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:40-42)
When Peter took his eyes off Jesus and focused on raging waves, he began to sink.
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:28-30)
Did you know a Christ follower who worries is saying to herself, “God, I know what you’re saying but I’m not sure I can trust you”? Worry is distrust of the goodness, love, and power of God. It’s makes sense, then, that he commands that you and I stop worrying.
Worry Chokes You
In Anxious for Nothing by John MacArthur, he identifies that the word worry comes for the Old English term wyrgan, which means “to choke” or “strangle.”
Just as Martha worried about meal preparation and Peter feared he’d drown, you and I sometimes let our worries choke us. Even panic attacks may jump on our frazzled nerves.
But worry accomplishes nother productive. It steals sleep. It causes stomach upset. And it even increases blood pressure and messes with your nervous system. Indeed, worry ruins quality of life!
And for nothing! Listen to Jesus’ words:
Who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? Matthew 6:27
First, agree with God that he gives you strength for each day. God gives you what you need when you need it. He is faithful (I Corinthians 10:13).
Second, intentionally adjust your focus. Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are of earth.” God promises to take care of your physical needs: food, clothing, and shelter. He wants to free you from misplaced priorites.
Jay Adams cautioned in What Do You Do When You Worry All the Time?
God wants you to seek to please Him first, and think about the problem of fear secondly. that is why when speaking of worry (a lesser form of fear) in Matthew 6:33 He commands ‘Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.’ If you put anything else first–even the desire to rid yourself of a terrifying fear– you will discover that you will fail to achieve ether goal. God will not take second place, even to a legitimate concern to be free of fear.
Third, thank God that he cares for you.
To implement these applications, begin a list of how he is providing, jotting down one or two things each day for a month. During the first week memorize Matthew 6:33 and ponder it. Later in the month, memorize and ponder other verses that dump worry. Some ideas are Philippians 4:19, Colossians 3:2, and 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
I like to artistically write verses in an unlined notebook as I memorize them, adding graphic elements and simple pictures with colored pencils. You may like to do this too. Let me know how this worry-free plan works for you, or contact me and I’ll pray for you.
You can be anxious for nothing!