Here’s a thought that hit me like a ton of bricks the first time I fully understood it: How much I worry is an indicator of how little I trust God.
That’s a tough realization. I worry about things all the time. I’m worried about some pretty major things right this second. We worry about all kinds of different things. It’s second nature. But worry holds us hostage. The word “worry” is actually derived from the German word “wurgen,” which means “to choke or strangle.” Worry chokes the life out of us. It holds us captive. It keeps us from living a life of freedom that we experience when we trust God to take care of us.
Believe it or not, Paul says in the book of Romans that worry is a sin.
“…everything that does not come from faith is sin.” (Romans 14:23)
We worry because we lack faith. We lack trust that God’s promises really are true. What I mean is, we love to say they’re true, but it’s harder to live and act in belief they’re actually true for us. Worry is poison to our souls, and God doesn’t want us to worry. Jesus said,
“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?” (Matthew 6:25)
That passage goes on to say that God will worry about that stuff for us. We just need to get focused on building trust and faith in Him to supply what we need. So how do you get freedom from worry?
- Do what God asks you to do. James 1:22 says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.“ When we do what God tells us to do, especially when it isn’t easy, popular, or the thing we want to do, we are putting ourselves in a place for God to come through for us. We have to give God the opportunity to show us that we can trust Him. When we operate within our means, we can get by on our own talents or provisions. When we operate outside of what we can do on our own, we are saying to God, “I literally can’t do this without You. God, if you don’t come through for me, I’m done for.” If you’re following Him and doing what He says, He will never let you down. We have to think on the right things and do what is wise. Wisdom comes from God, and the Bible tells us that if we ask for wisdom, God will never deny that request.
- Give God what you cannot do. That means exactly what we said earlier. Recognize that you can’t do it all, and let God do it. Give Him the glory and praise when He does. Instead of worrying, admit to God that you need Him to work things out and let Him go to work. When you worry, you’re standing in the way of God’s work in your life. Get out of His way. 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.”
- No matter what happens, decide to trust God. Have you ever seen a little kid get fascinated with an electrical outlet or a hot stove? They want to touch it, they’re so curious and enticed. But before it happens (hopefully), mom or dad smacks their hand. The kid is mad, and probably cries. But the parent knows what’s best when the kid doesn’t. So does God. He knows what’s best for you even when you don’t, and even when you think you do. He sees the big picture where we only see a little glimpse. So when things don’t go the way you want, trust God anyway. Remember that He wants what is best for you. He wants you to have ultimate life, which is why He sent Jesus. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Commit to yourself and to God that you will do what God asks you to do, give God what you cannot do, and no matter what happens, trust God to care for you.
So how do you start this process?
- Start getting more familiar with what God wants you to do. You do that by reading the Bible. You might not understand it all, but read it anyway. Get into it, use tools like YouVersion reading plans to help. Learn what God wants you to do, and do it.
- Pray. If you don’t know what to say, here’s a suggestion: “God, you know me inside and out. You know what worries me. You know where my faith is strong, and where it is weak. Help me to trust you to meet my needs and to take care of me. I want to give You room to work in my life. I pray that You will be glorified and honored when people see the ways that you work in me. Give me the courage and strength to trust You with my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
- Do something. Ecclesiastes 11:4 says, “Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.” If you’re putting something off that you know you need to do because you’re worried, maybe you need to take a step and just do it. Maybe you need to give financially to help someone or sponsor a child or use your money as a tool. Maybe you need to volunteer to make a difference in your community or your church. Maybe you need to do something drastic like moving across the planet to teach life skills to kids in a developing country. I don’t know what it is for you, but you probably do. Consider taking the step and doing what you know you need to do. Start with a small step if you need to, but move.
We’ll continue this series tomorrow. Like what you’ve read? Consider sharing it with your friends using the buttons below. You can also subscribe to receive posts in your email using the form at the top right of this page.