Many of us deal with worry. In today’s society, it seems like there is always something to be worried about. Even if you don’t find yourself fearful by the nonstop negative news reports that flood your social media feeds, you may be facing worry about situations going on in your own life. While there is no way to totally eradicate worry (it’s a natural human reaction), there are ways to minimize the amount of worry you experience and the hold that it has on your life.
Have you ever been called a worry wart? Maybe you’ve considered yourself one. Worry is a natural human emotion, one that God wired into you at conception. However, worry was never intended to be the driving force in your life. Instead, it’s meant to be something to warn you about a potential hazard, much like fear. If you find yourself experiencing worry all the time, understand that God has something better than that for you. You may never erase worry, but you can win the war against it.
There is a difference in worry and anxiety. If you’re experiencing anxiety, it’s important that you seek the help of a medical professional. Unfortunately, people use the terms “worry” and “anxiety” interchangeably when that’s simply not the case.
Worry is more of a byproduct of fear. While we know that living a fearful life is not what God intended for His people, it’s not always that easy to overcome it. If you feel like you’re losing the battle against worry in your own life, take a deeper dive into Scripture to get a better idea of how God says you can overcome it.
Worrying About the Present
Matthew 6:25-27 (TPT)
“This is why I tell you to never be worried about your life, for all that you need will be provided, such as food, water, clothing-everything your body needs. Isn’t there more to your life than a meal? Isn’t your body more than clothing? Look at all the birds-do you think they worry about their existence? They don’t plant or reap or store up food, yet your heavenly Father provides them each with food. Aren’t you much more valuable to your Father than they? So which one of you by worrying could add anything to your life?”
In many cases, our worry involves things that we have very little control of. If we’re being honest, the fact that we can’t control certain details of our lives is a source of worry. In these verses from the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus was talking about the fear associated with not having enough. Isn’t it remarkable that financial stress was just as prevalent 2000 years ago as it is today? The people who made up the impromptu congregation were just as worried about not having enough as we often are today.
Perhaps you’ve been impacted by some of the economic issues brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. At its peak, millions of people lost their jobs or experienced a decrease in their pay. This left millions of people scrambling to figure out how they were going to survive.
Just because you’re a child of God doesn’t mean that you’re exempt from worry. Even if you didn’t find yourself facing job loss or decreased hours at work because of the pandemic, financial stress has always been and will always be a natural part of life. However, we are not called to focus on the natural, as our God is supernatural.
In his lesson on worrying about having enough, Christ didn’t use a far-fetched comparison. Instead, He simply pointed to the birds that were flying around on the side of the mountain that day. None of them worried about having enough worms to survive the next 24 hours. None of them were afraid of running out of the material that they used to build nests. The birds weren’t frantically fluttering about, trying to make sure that they had a tree to sleep in that night. Instead, they simply existed.
How much time do you spend worrying about surviving? While there’s nothing wrong with having financial plans in place that ensure that you can pay your bills, that shouldn’t be a constant source of fear and anxiety. Do you believe that you matter more to God than the birds do? Christ didn’t die to secure the eternity of the birds of the air. He only did that for you. With that information in mind, rest in the fact that if God will ensure that the birds of the air are cared for, He will do the same for you. Afterall, you’re worth far more.
Worrying About the Future
Matthew 6:34 (TPT)
Refuse to worry about tomorrow, but deal with each challenge that comes your way, one day at a time. Tomorrow will take care of itself.
Not long after He discussed being worried about the present, Christ also addressed the issues that arise when we spend our time worrying about the future. It’s possible to become so consumed by fear of the future that you miss out on the blessings of the present. However, according to Christ, those worries are rarely productive and generally leave you in a state of perpetual misery.
Think about it like this: as long as you are living in the present, you will be aware of the prospect of a tomorrow. Yes, the Bible teaches us that our lives are like a vapor that is here one moment and gone the next (James 4:14). Since our primary focus is on eternity, we are fully aware of the fact that we may never face tomorrow. However, we generally assume that we’re going to, and since the future is such an unknown, it’s often a source of worry.
In order to fully overcome the fear of the future, we need to overcome the fear of the present. Since we’ve already discussed that concept, let’s build on that.
If we know that our present is taken care of because we’re more valuable than the birds of the air, we can safely assume that God will also take care of our future. In addition to that, Christ pointed out a harsh reality: tomorrow will present with its own set of challenges. If you spend all of your time focused on the things that may happen tomorrow, you may fail to address the issues that are directly in front of you.
Our Eternity is Sealed
1 Corinthians 15:57-58 (TPT)
But we thank God for giving us the victory as conquerors through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One. So now, beloved ones, stand firm, stable, and enduring. Live your lives with an unshakable confidence. We know that we prosper and excel in every season by serving the Lord, because we are assured that our union with the Lord makes our labor productive with fruit that endures.
Ultimately, nothing matters more than forever. No issues that we face in the present or issues that we may face in the future can change the fact that our eternities are sealed. Isn’t it amazing to know that nothing that happens today, tomorrow, or a hundred years from now can impact our eternal standing with God?
When we embrace that fact, the things that we face on a daily basis seem to pale in comparison. When we know that we will spend eternity in the presence of God in the paradise that He has created for us, the things that rob us of our peace no longer seem to be so bad. Instead, we know that our citizenship is in Heaven and there is nothing in this world that can change that.
A Closing Prayer:
Father, please help me to overcome the worry that I deal with on a daily basis. I know that You love me and that I am more precious in your sight than the birds of the air or the animals of the field. If You care for them, I know that You care even more for me. Help me to be mindful of the fact that my eternity is sealed in You. In Christ’s name, Amen.