Anxiety. Worry. Fear. Whatever you call it, these three words describe the reality for millions and possibly even billions of people from every race, every walk, and every way of life. Worrying is like a growing cancer within both unbelievers — and believers in Christ. It starts small, but when fully grown, completely overtakes the weary soul and trains the mind to fear the outcomes of any given situation.
If you’re one of the desperate people mentioned above, or just know a friend who is seeking answers to this awful issue, you need not look any further than the Word of God.
The Bible is very clear and concise on the subject of worrying, just as it is with practically any given topic. After all, the words of the creator hold weight with the cares of His creation. So what does the Bible REALLY say about worrying? Glad you asked!
1. Worry is not of God.
We must first remember that worry is not of God. Jesus Christ Himself said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11: 28). God is always offering rest. From the beginning of creation, He even set apart the Sabbath day as a time of rest and resting Himself (Gen. 2:2), demonstrated the importance of taking it easy and enjoying the journey. Worry, essentially, is a lack of trust in God and His capability to handle our needs and desires.
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From Scripture, we can easily infer that God’s offer to His people is rest, and rest should be the constant state of each believer in Him. We should always be confident in this and seek to live in the fullness of this reality.
2. Opportunities for anxiety are real and WILL come.
There’s no way around this. Anxiety comes in all shapes and forms and sizes, but it WILL come. Life is tough, rough and unrelenting and at times, entirely overwhelming. I once heard a man, when asked how “life” was treating him, respond very plainly: “Awful. Life is treating me awful. But God is treating me wonderfully.” What an honest statement!
For some, it’s the mounting bills they owe. For another, it’s the woes of yet another marital fight. For the man around the corner, he’s not sure if his job will be there next month, and for the lady next door, she’s just simply trying to figure out how to keep her kids from rebelling.
Even though God is a God of rest, the Bible teaches us that the devil is prowling around like a lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). If we’re to win the worry-war, we should recognize that Satan is ALWAYS crouching and waiting, seeking an opportunity to lead us into fear and doubt. As the old adage goes, admitting is the first step. We should admit that there is a real battle taking place, and that it’s our enemy’s goal that we lose confidence in the one we trust!
3. Worrying accomplishes nothing.
In Matthew chapter 6, Jesus taught very specifically on worry and anxiety, pointing to the birds as His prime illustration. “Look at the birds of the air,” He said, “They neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matt. 6:26). He goes on to explain that worrying is absolutely pointless, because it is not active and produces no fruit except more worry: “Who of you, by worrying, can add a single hour to his life?” (Matt. 6:27).
When we truly believe that worrying is vain and pointless, we can begin to take our thoughts captive (2 Cor. 10:5) and CHOOSE to trust God.
4. When it comes to worry, someone has to own it: us, or God.
Someone is GOING to take the cares and the weight. The only question is, will it be us, or will it be Christ? Seeing as how Jesus died on the cross so that we could boldly approach God and make our requests known to Him, it’s pretty clear who the worries should be cast upon. In fact, the Bible teaches us to do just that!
“Cast your cares on the Lord, and He will sustain you. He will never allow the righteous to be shaken” (Psalm 55:22).
“Cast all your cares up on Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
We are instructed to come to God in prayer and lay our cares at His feet. Christ came to heal the broken-hearted, bring deliverance to those who are bound and pour His life into every person who calls on His name. Because we have the opportunity to talk to God in prayer, we should make a point DAILY to lay our cares at His feet. When we give our burdens to God, we receive peace and comfort and joy in return.