The Bible has much to say on the subject of worry. Jesus, in particular, spoke often of the dangers of worry and what can be done to avoid it. Worrying usually involves unnecessary concern about worst-case scenarios or things that never occur at all. The temptation to take on more than is necessary involves being unwilling to truly trust God with one’s life. While general concern for life is reasonable, worry is destructive and prevents a person from living as God intended. What Scriptures specifically deal with the subject of worry and how can these truths be put to practical use?
Jesus challenged his hearers to consider for themselves how God daily cares for all of his creation by considering the world around them (Matthew 6:25-27). He specifically described how God feeds the birds even though they don’t go through the process of growing, cultivating and storing food that human beings go through.
It is easy to get caught up in the basic necessities of life and miss the reason that God has placed people on the earth. Becoming overly focused on such daily necessities is a common cause of worry and prevents a person from enjoying the peace that comes from living as God intended. Worry can be avoided by placing one’s focus on the God who created all things and who daily cares for his creation and taking it off concern over daily necessities. The same God who cares for the birds will care even more for human beings created in his image.
The Key source of worry
Jesus identified concern over the things to come in the future as a key source of worry (Matthew 6:34). God is the only being who has a perfect understanding of what the future holds. He alone is able to consider the future using perfect knowledge. Human beings with limited understanding must focus on what is directly in front of them in order to avoid the debilitating effects of worry.
Being overly concerned about what may or may not happen in the future leads to anxiety, which causes a person to struggle with the daily functions of life. By focusing on the challenges of a particular day and trusting in God to provide wisdom, strength, and peace a person can eliminate worry and live a life focused on pleasing God. God supplies what is necessary for the challenges of each day and by appropriating that supply a person can rest in the knowledge that he or she has everything necessary to be what God desires that day.
Jesus described the futility of worry
Jesus described the futility of worry (Luke 12:25). Worry is an activity that drains a person’s energy but does nothing positive to make life better. The energy that is used in worrying can be used for so many better purposes, but this requires placing one’s focus on God and allowing him to direct a person’s activities. Worry takes away from the many positive life choices that make a person’s life rich.
When an individual is able to grasp that worry is not a good thing, but a robber that steals the vitality that God created each human being with, then he or she has the potential to stop worrying and rest in God’s providence. A person’s life span is given by God as a gift and each moment of each day is an opportunity to reject worry and to live a life of faith and trust in God to supply whatever is necessary to tackle the challenges of the day.
The cure for worry is the peace that only Jesus can give. He spoke of his peace as being the foundation that enables a person to avoid worry and fear (John 14:27). Peace comes from knowing God as he is revealed to us by Jesus and by trusting Jesus for salvation and daily life.
The Peace of God comes upon an individual
As a person completely offers his or her life up to God as a daily offering, the peace of God comes upon an individual and provides the power to overcome worry and fear. Worry is a product of focusing on the problem rather than the one who provides the solution. Focusing on the God of peace whose presence is real and strong enables a person to live free of the thoughts that make worry such a negative effect on a person’s health and quality of life. God’s peace enables a person to walk through the troubles of life with the conviction that God is allowing such challenges in order to form him or her into the person that God desires. The peace that only God gives is a sufficient weapon to drive out worry and to give purpose and meaning in life.
Jesus Sought to Convey Worry
The Apostle Paul grasped the truths that Jesus sought to convey regarding worry. He wrote that the follower of Christ must place his or her thoughts in the right place in order to avoid worry (Philippians 4:6-7). As challenges come during a particular day, the Christian is to bring these needs before God and trust that God will do what is best. The act of bringing each need before God and trusting him with it produces the peace that Jesus promised he would give.
Worry often results from a person trying to bring the complexity of life under human, logical control, but only by bringing everything to God and seeking his peace will an individual be able to deal properly with the challenges of life. The bible has a rich supply of truth regarding the issue of worry. The person who knows God intimately and trusts him with every detail of his or her life will avoid worry and live in the rich peace that only God can give.