Double color exposure portrait of a bearded guy and tree

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength. Corrie Ten Boom

Many of us spend our lives worrying, whether it’s over trivial matters and urgent matters – we find any excuse to worry! Many of us are a lot like Roger Hargreaves children’s character, Mr Worry.

‘Mr Worry worries about everything and all things. Life is just one long worry for poor Mr Worry. He is always worried that if he went shopping he would leave something behind or lose something on the way home’.

So why do we worry?

Psychologists would tell us it’s because we fear the future – we fear the unknown. We worry about what will happen to us, our family, our work, our money, our home and our possessions. Indeed, much of what we worry about, are the very things we fear losing.

Worrying can also pertain to wanting to be perceived by the world as we wish; desiring to see ourselves as we want to be seen. When we are heavily invested in projecting and maintaining a certain image to others, we may find ourselves worrying about that image being exposed. And our true selves revealed to all.

But what does God’s word say about worrying?

There are numerous passages that speak about not being afraid – “Fear not!” is one of the most repeated commands in the Bible.

God knows that worrying is a major issue for many of us, so He (through numerous prophets, apostles and His Son) spoke about it quite a lot in His Word.

Jesus said, in Matthew 6:25-34 (CEB), not to worry about material possessions. God will meet our needs.

Isaiah prophesied, in Isaiah 43:1-3, the Lord telling us not to worry as we belong to God and He will be with us.

David, when under attack from his enemies, prayed in Psalm 56: 1-4, against fear and worry because he trusted in God.

Paul, who was beaten, imprisoned, shipwrecked, wrote in his letters to the Hebrews (Hebrews 13:6) and Philippians (Philippians 4:4-7) about God granting us peace. Why? Because our confidence is in God, not ourselves.

Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel. Philippians 4:6-7 (CEV) 

All of these passages and many others tell us that whilst we do not know the future, God does. Whilst we may want to be perceived by the world in a certain light, God simply loves us for who we are. (Yes, He wants us to fulfill our true potential, but He loves us in spite of all our shortcomings and frailties).

The temptation to not give into the bad habit of worrying may sound easier said than done. But in those times when we’re feeling worried or anxious, we can have confidence that we are able to turn to God, through prayer and in His Word, to find peace and reassurance of His promise, that ultimately He has good things planned for us.

Let us not be like Mr Worry, but instead let’s cling to the promises of God that say we have not been given a spirit of fear, but of a sound mind.

 

Ross McFarlane
Director of Finance