Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry…” (Matt. 6:25).
Now I don’t know about you, but my family bloodlines include thorough and accomplished worriers. They could have won Olympic Gold in worrying. With a background like that, these verses have deep meaning to me because I, too, used to excel in worrying and have seen firsthand the serious damage caused by worry.
God tells us not to worry. In other words, don’t be anxious, concerned, uneasy, apprehensive, nervous, fretful, troubled, losing sleep, bothered, or fearful about the circumstances of your life. Do you ever struggle with any of these emotions over a situation? God says don’t bring the turmoil of worry into your life.
You may think, Easy to say, not easy to do. My family problems, health problems, relationship problems, money problems, future, past, mistakes (you can add your own “worries”) are serious. God still says, don’t worry.
Why not worry? Because, as Genesis 18:14 asks, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Anything? Can we trust God with our problems? Is there any possible reason to say to God about any troubling situation, “Thanks, God, I’ll take it from here…it’ll be better off in my hands than Yours”? The basic question becomes, do we believe in God enough to trust that He is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do for us?
Sarah thought she had a good reason not to trust what God told her. Most people would have agreed with her. Based on her beliefs, abilities, and knowledge, there was no solution to her problem of not being able to conceive a child. Because she thought her situation was impossible, she did not believe that God could do what He said He would do for her and Abraham. Turns out she was wrong.
Probably most of us are like Sarah at times. After all, one of Satan’s most effective tools is to get us to doubt Christ so that we are robbed of our joy and our witness. How do we fight back? How do we learn to trust more and worry less? Here’s what I’ve learned through years of hard times, years of failing to trust, and years of learning to trust.
When I first sense that something is troubling me, it becomes the signal to start asking myself a few questions. I need to determine if my worry is associated with something that I have done but should not have done. Or have I failed to do what I should have done. If so, I need to get busy and stop something or start something. If my worry involves a sinful action, I need to ask God’s forgiveness and possibly make something right between myself and others.
If all is clear on that front, then I need to pray, asking God to help me to deal with my fear and to trust Him, regardless of the circumstance. Many times, we have trouble trusting, but God is more than willing to help us trust in Him and rest in Him. Don’t be afraid to ask, God is not stingy with us, nor does He ignore those who depend on Him. We may need to ask God to remind us of the many times that He has cared for us through hard times in the past. We may need to ask Him for patience to see us through, if the situation is long-term. We may need to ask that He help us understand what our real need is. For example, do we need healing? Maybe. Do we need increased faith and trust? Undoubtedly. Finally, we need to force ourselves to take our worry and redirect it to recalling the blessings that we are enjoying from God. Having trouble thinking of any blessing? Ask God’s help.
Here’s the bottom line. Has God ever once proven His love and ability to care for you in the past? If so, you know that He can be trusted to do so in the present and in the future. And practice does make perfect. While my ancestors practiced worrying, I’m working on practicing trust.
Here’s to a week, and a lifetime, of more trusting and less worrying.
© 2010 Arlina Yates