Can any of us say that we never worry? Worry so easily afflicts all of us as we go through the course of life. And yet our Saviour said to His disciples: “Therefore I tell you, 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 than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can anyone of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? (Matt. 6:25-27) As we think of our Saviour’s words surely we all, as God’s people feel that they challenge us deeply. Let us then seek to educate ourselves with some perspectives on worry.
Our Father is in control. The song says that “He has got the whole world in His hands” Indeed He truly has. Nothing happens outside of His great sovereign will. So we read in him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will (Eph 1:11).
Our Father cares. If the God who is in control is not good then we have reason to “worry”. However, He truly is good. He always works what is for His glory and the benefit of His people. Peter tells the dispersed Christians to Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).
Our Father cares for His creation. In the passage in Matthew 6 already quoted we read of His care for for the birds of the air (see Matt. 5:26). The LORD then reasons that God’s people are valuable to Him than the birds of the air. In view of this we have every reason to trust Him to provide for us.
Our Father promises to be with us. In Hebrews 13:5b we read God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” We thereby conclude that whatever the future holds God has promised to be there with us.
Our Future is secure. Worry fills the future with fear and apprehension. Whereas faith traces out God’s future blessings for us. Paul puts it like this: I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:38-39). Moreover, we are promised as Christians that we will be forever with the LORD (see 1 Thess. 4:17b).
Worry forgets the present. In worrying we are always scouring the future in order to find something to worry about. Our Lord rather says that we should concentrate on the present. He says: Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (Matt. 6:34). Moreover God has promised to bring His mercies newly to us every day. Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness (Lam. 3:22-23).
Worry forgets the past. The LORD has provided for us. The LORD has protected, preserved us and guided us. And so why should we fear. We should erect our Ebenezer stone and say; Hitherto has the LORD led us (see 1 Sam. 7:12). As we then remember God’s help in our own lives and his watching over His people in scripture we are encouraged to trust the LORD to help us in whatever he brings into our lives in the future.
Worry forgets our blessings. We have all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ (see Eph. 1:3). God has been so good to us in providing for us in so many ways. Above all we should continually return to the cross of our LORD Jesus and see there how we are blessed with the forgiveness of our sins. Why can we think that He will leave us to be harmed in the future if He has done so much good for us.
Worry is unproductive. As quoted above in Matthew 6:27 our Saviour says that we cannot add an extra hour to our lives by worry. Worry costs us a lot in terms of mental energy and even damage to our health. Yet it brings us so little.
Worry loses perspective. John MacArthur puts it like this: “Think about it this way: Christians who worry believe God can redeem them, break the shackles of Satan, take them from hell to heaven, put them into His kingdom, and give them eternal life, but just don’t think He can get them through the next couple of days. That is pretty ridiculous, isn’t it?” And so we should reason with ourselves about how to see things properly so we are saved from worry.
Worry is deceptive. Worry considers the future a reality when it is still uncertain. Mark Twain said “I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” Worry takes us through many things in our minds which actually never happen.
Worry is sinful. In the end we have to humbly bow our heads before our Father God and say that worry is wrong. We have quoted our Saviour’s wherein He has told us not to worry about our lives (see Matt. 6:25). To then engage in worry is surely wrong.
We do need to plan ahead. We are not to worry for the future, but scripture says that we should plan and provide for the future. We read in 1 Timothy 5:8 for example anyone does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Oh how weak we are and how we so easily worry. Worry is something that we, as Christians should want to shun. We so easily excuse our proneness to it. However, is it time that we were harder on ourselves? We should determine to trust rather than fear. Our Father is good always good. Let us finally hear the way of wisdom. Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the LORD will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared. (Prov. 3:25-26). Lord save us from ourselves and help us to trust you in all things rather than worry about all things.
(Taken from Feltham Evangelical Church newsletter of April 2011)