God Did Not Create Us to Worry
First let me say that if you are a born-again child of God, worry is a deadly habit to develop. Worry is the chain around your life preventing you from living. The act of worry steals from you the abundant life that belongs to you through Jesus. It is also a sin. Romans 14:23 states,
But he who is uncertain [about eating a particular thing] is condemned if he eats, because he is not acting from faith. Whatever is not from faith is sin.
That means all doubt, all unbelief, and all worry is sin.
Now you might ask, “I can’t worry about anything?” And, I would say you could, but it’s a sin. Just as faith comes from hearing and meditating on the WORD of God, fear comes from meditating on Satan’s lies. It walks hand in hand with unbelief and the Bible calls it evil.
Creating an “Evil Report”
Remember the story of the ten spies in Numbers 14:27? Moses sent them to check out the Promised Land. When they returned, they gave what was called an “evil report.” Their report was evil because it was based on fear, not faith. Their report could have told the Israelites that they could conquer the land and that it was full of the goodness God said they would find. However, the spies stated,
Nevertheless, the people who live in the land are strong and the cities are fortified and very large; moreover, we saw the descendants of Anak (giants) there.
Verse 33 states,
… and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.
When you worry, you are taking that same position. When it comes to operating by faith or fear, there is no in-between. This is the reason it’s impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6). Faith is what connects us to God and enables us to receive His blessings. Fear disconnects us from God and connects us to the devil.
Practical Steps to Stop Worrying and Start Trusting God
Everyone experiences uncertainty at times, moments when you don’t know what will happen. And while you may not be able to control the situation, you can control your reaction to it. As a child of God, you are not subject to fear, worry, or anxiety. Jesus made this clear when He said in Matthew 6:31-32,
Don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.
To overcome the temptation to worry, put these steps into practice:
A. Trust in God’s Word
Matthew 6:33 says,
Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Seeking the kingdom of God begins with the Word of God. Begin digging into the Word for yourself. Don’t base your spiritual growth only on what your pastor says on Sunday morning, or even what you hear from a Spirit-led minister. While those are excellent ways to learn, your primary source for growth needs to come from your personal time of study in the Word and reflection (Romans 10:17).
B. Resist the Enemy
James 4:7 says,
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Your Spiritual enemy, Satan, would like nothing more than to keep you plagued by worry and fear. As you seek the kingdom of God, commit to resisting the thoughts that contradict what the Lord has spoken to you (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
C. Be A Giver
Giving is one of the best ways to get your eyes off of your own situation. It is also a tangible expression of worship that says, “Lord, I trust in You to meet my needs even as I meet the needs of others.” Luke 6:38 shows just how important giving is when it says,
Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.
D. Live A Life of Love
In 1 John 3:23, God gave us an important command:
We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us.
God desires that we live a selfless life of love and reflect His goodness and grace wherever we go.
You can resist the temptation to worry or fear no matter what situation you face.
Should I Feel Bad About Myself Because I Struggle with Worry?
Our bodies and minds are not perfect. They become injured or ill. And, because we have the gift of free will and conscious thought, we are often waging a war to keep our thoughts healthy and our bodies well, Christian or not.
The Bible does talk a lot about worrying and sadness. A Bible app search on “verses about worry” brings up dozens of verses telling us not to worry:
Do not be anxious about anything.
… do not worry about your life.
1 Peter 5:7,
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
and so on.
There are mentions of hopelessness, sadness, and anxiety all over the Old Testament and New Testament.
I don’t believe all this talk about worry is meant to shame us. Over 2,000 years ago, people all over the world and a variety of faith backgrounds were struggling with it too!
However, in all those verses pertaining to worry, the Bible tells us to change our thoughts and actions. Philippians 4:6-7 says,
Do not be anxious about anything [thoughts], but in every situation, by prayer and petition [action], with thanksgiving [thoughts and actions], present your requests to God [action].
The next verse mentions the result that follows:
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Can the feelings of fear or hopelessness return? Absolutely. And when they do, we repeat the process. Again and again and again. And gradually, we can train our brains to release fearful thoughts and hold on to thoughts of hope to stir up feelings of calm and wellbeing more and more.
Is God Mad or Disappointed with Me When I Worry?
The next time you hesitate to come before God, convinced He’s disappointed in you, remember these three truths.
A. God doesn’t remember your past sin.
This isn’t because He’s forgetful or flighty. He chooses not to remember. Once you come to Him with a repentant heart and confess, He wipes your slate clean. He does this because He loves you. His heart isn’t like your friend’s or neighbor’s and He won’t hold a grudge for years, saying He forgives you, but remaining bitter. His forgiveness is complete and final – as revealed in Psalm 103:12,
As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
B. God’s love isn’t dependant on our actions.
Yes, our sin has consequences and when it isn’t confessed, it can create a breach between us and God. But there is nothing we can do to earn God’s love. Once we have a relationship with Him, He sees us through the perfect blood on His son. Our standing with Him has nothing to do with our behavior and everything to do with what Jesus did on the cross. Romans 5:8 says,
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
C. God sees the whole story.
Thinking God is disappointed implies that we did something to surprise Him. But God is omniscient, and He knows what we’re going to say or do before we even think it. He doesn’t just see the person you are now. He sees the person you are becoming, with the help of His Spirit working in you. He sees the masterpiece He created to perform works we can’t even imagine yet. Ephesians 2:10 explains,
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
No matter where you are today, or what burden you’re carrying, remember God sees you. When He looks at you, it isn’t with disdain or disappointment over the things you’ve done. He sees you with a perfect and holy love we can’t begin to imagine or understand. His work in you isn’t finished yet. He wants to mold you into a beautiful reflection of His Son, Jesus, but you have to keep coming to Him.
Scriptures to Bring You Peace When You Are Tempted to Worry
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out all fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 1 John 4:18
Casting all your anxiety upon him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
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 comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? … For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:25-34
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days. Luke 1:74-75
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle. Psalm 103:1-5
The Difference Between Worry and Wisdom in a Dangerous Situation
First, worry – meditating on fear – is effective at protecting or providing for us, it steals our life, and it distracts us from what matters.
Wisdom and judgment are very different things altogether. Jesus is the strongest advocate of our growing and utilizing wisdom and good judgment.
In Luke 12, Jesus not only tells his followers “don’t worry,” but also challenges them to pay attention to cause and effect, to be good observers of reality, and make decisions that are most likely to lead to good outcomes. To His agrarian-minded culture, Jesus puts it this way,
When you see clouds beginning to form in the west, you say, ‘Here comes a shower.’ And you are right. When the south wind blows, you say, ‘Today will be a scorcher.’ And it is. You fools! You know how to interpret the weather signs of the earth and sky, but you don’t know how to interpret the present times.
In other words, Jesus is saying, “You know how to look at the sky and the weather and know what that means for your crops and what you need to do – apply that same wisdom to the other areas of life. Learn and pay attention to how life works and think ahead, use good judgment, and act responsibly with what you’ve been given.”
Is Worry An Indicator of Love?
Worry has been taught for generations in some families and is used as an indicator of a certain level of “love” for those being worried over. I actually grew up with someone who strongly had the belief that worry is a sign of love. She believed that, she was selfless enough to suffer vicariously for you. And isn’t that the definition of love? Wouldn’t it be uncaring not to feel terrible for others, given what some people have to deal with?
The answer is NO.
Take the example of M., diagnosed with cancer. Let’s say you love her. So what do you do? You pray with and for her. You call, you offer to help, you visit with chicken soup and DVDs and good cheer. You ask what else you can do, and M. says, “Nothing, thank you for asking. I have everything I need.” You tell M. to call you if she thinks of anything else, and you check in with her regularly, sending little messages, aware of her just as you’re aware of the other people you care about as you return to happily doing whatever it is you do. That’s showing concern. That’s love.
The reversed position could be:
M. is diagnosed with cancer. You call, full of pity that you try to disguise but not too much because you want her to know, after all, that your heart is breaking for her. You offer to help with her awful situation. You bring chicken soup and DVDs and so much worry that it fills the room. You ask what else you can do, and M. says, “Nothing, thank you for asking. I have everything I need.” Nonsense, you think. She’s pretending to be strong. With meaningful glances and sighs, you make sure everyone around you knows how absolutely terrible the situation is, and you spend every waking minute consumed by thoughts of M.’s unfortunate plight, hoping other people you love don’t have the same terrible experience.
Some people will defend the second version, saying that it’s more compassionate, that it’s more human, and that seeing difficult circumstances without a negative emotional reaction would be an act of cold denial.
To the contrary, I think that seeing life as you believe it “should” be, or is going to be, is the act of denial. If you love someone it’s okay to be concerned.
Seeing life as it is, is an act of compassion. And when you see life this way, it opens you up to be human in a way that is far more sustainable and kind.
The Next Step
So now you have more knowledge about “worry.” You have been given tools to help you overcome it. What’s your next step? What plan of action can you create to begin to remove your habit of worry?
Hi, I’m Mercedes Bilow, your Transformational Strategist. Over the years, I have helped many individuals become overcomes. it would be my honor to assist you as well. You can contact me via Victory Over Chaos (firstname.lastname@example.org). Here you will learn to become “stronger than the storm.”