Worry has become America’s favorite indoor sport. Most of us face two kinds of worry: doubts about God’s ability to help us, and concern about our own carelessness. We need to distinguish clearly between the two.
If we are troubled with the first kind of worry we need to recognize that God is able and does care. This kind of worry is not appropriate for the Christian. On the other hand, it is legitimate to be concerned about whether we will do things appropriately.
In I Corinthians 9:27 Paul said, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” Paul had a legitimate worry that his own natural human and sinful tendencies might–if not properly checked–cause God’s glory to be diminished in his life and his preaching become impotent.
On the other hand, Paul’s testimony in Philippians 4:11 said that he had “learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” The apostle suggested that he could be content because he knew that God knew, God cared, and God would work all things together for good (Romans 8:28).
Here are some truths that will help us win over worry:
1. God knows our circumstances. Look at Psalm 139:8-10: “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.”
2. We can’t change our circumstances by worry. Several years ago a friend of mine was flying me home after I had preached in another State. It was late at night and we found ourselves in the midst of a storm I was worried. My worrying did not one bit of good to help the pilot or stop the storm.
3. The fact is rarely as bad as the anticipation. Look back on your life and notice how many times your worried about something and the problem did not turn out to be as bad as you thought it would be. If you are worried about something, ask yourself how important will this concern be three years from now.
4. Not everything has to be pleasant. As mature Christians, we need to learn to accept what happens to us, as long as it is not the result of deliberate sin. We serve a providential God that allows things to happen to us for our good. Job is a good example of this. You do not sharpen an ax on butter.
5. Worriers do not accomplish much. Remember the people of faith in the Bible that faced difficult situations that could have caused worry. Abraham was told to go out; he could have worried about where he was going. Esther could have worried so much that she might be executed for going to see the king that she never went. Joseph could have worried while in prison that God had forgotten him. The list goes on and on. Leaders in the Bible would have never been leaders if they had succumbed to worry.
We need to simply do what needs to be done and leave the results to our loving Father.
For every problem under the sun, there is a cure or there is none. If there be one, seek till you find it. If there be none, never mind it.