Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:27
Did I make the right decision? What if I lose my job? What if the people I need to impress don’t like me? What if I never get married? What if I/my parents/my children get sick?
Have you ever spent a day with thoughts like these bouncing around in your head? My guess is that most of us have. The Merriam-Webster dictionary says that to worry is “to think about problems or fears: to feel or show fear and concern because you think that something bad has happened or could happen.” Worrying is never encouraged in Scripture (and it is different from enduring through difficulties and wrestling with God over them, which even Jesus did while on earth).
Reminding myself of the following has helped me in my on-going battle with worry:
I. Most of it will never happen
Most of my worries are wild fantasies existing only in my mind. It’s a waste of energy and time to dwell on them. French philosopher Michel de Montaigne is known to have said “My life has been filled with terrible misfortune; most of which never happened.”
One website from a Google search summarises the things we worry about like this:
- Things that never happen: 40 percent. That is, 40 percent of the things you worry about will never occur anyway.
- Things over and past that can’t be changed by all the worry in the world: 30 percent.
- Needless worries about our health: 12 percent.
- Petty, miscellaneous worries: 10 percent.
- Real, legitimate worries: 8 percent. Only 8 percent of your worries are worth concerning yourself about.
II. Worry is Arrogance before God; Trust Him
Worrying is essentially telling God that we know how things in life should go better than He does. Worrying is inherently against God’s promise that Christ has earned our victory (1 John 5:4) and that He desires to bless us, even through the hardships of this life (Matthew 7:11).
This is why Peter instructs us to “humble yourselves” before casting “all your anxiety on Him because He cares for You.” (1 Peter 5:6-7) We can cast our worries to God and let God be God. Peter likely lived knowing that he would face a terrible earthly death (John 21:18), yet he did not worry as he humbled himself and trusted the risen and victorious Lord.
Let us stop the arrogance of worrying by:
- Thanking God that everything you would ever worry about (security, belonging, health, etc.) are found in Christ.
- Asking God to help you live a worry-free life as you choose to trust Him more and more.