It happens all too frequently. I sing praises to God on Sunday morning and wake early on Monday morning beset by worry.
The cause might be my growing to-do list. Or circumstances outside my control. It could be due to loss and grief. Actually, the reason is less important than my response.
It comes in the form of a thought life that constantly imagines the worst possible outcome for any situation. I might worry about health, finances, relationships, safety, or any of a hundred other topics.
When I find myself worrying, it means several things.
First, I’m depending on myself. Specifically, I’ve fallen into the trap of thinking that outcomes are dependent on my own ability.
Being consumed by worry also takes me out of the present. Instead of enjoying today, I’m too busy obsessing about tomorrow.
And depending on myself means I’m not trusting God. Worry means I believe the lie that God is not working for my ultimate good and His eternal glory.
Antidote to Worry
The antidote to worry is to remember who we belong to.
And that leads to understanding what salvation in Christ really means. Our salvation has 3 components:
At the moment we trust Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior God declares us justified in His sight (Romans 5:1). Justification means we have a right standing before God. His wrath is no longer directed toward our sin, for Jesus “drank” the full cup of God’s wrath against sin when He died on the cross for us.
So I have no need to worry about the past. As a Christian, my past has been covered by the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
But God did not stop at addressing our past. He also addresses our present. Every committed believer in Jesus Christ has the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit (II Thess. 2:13). The Holy Spirit does the work of sanctification in our life—a lifelong process of becoming what God has declared us to be: righteous!
So I have not need to worry about the present. God is at work in my life to make me more like His Son. And He will use every situation in my life toward that end.
Finally, we look forward to an amazing future. At the moment a Christian dies, he or she is immediately in the presence of God. As the apostle Paul said, “To live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). Our glorification includes having glorified bodies, free from even the temptation of sin.
Understanding the full breadth of our salvation reminds us God is in control, so there’s nothing to worry about. Whatever happens in this life is both temporary and will be used by our heavenly Father for our good and His glory.
Kick worry to the door and replace it with trust in the Lord who has us covered: past, present, and future!
I love the way God works! I was feeling anxious today because I am going out of town and leaving My 18 year old at home alone. Your article was delivered to my email in a timely manner! Thank you for being a vessel of God’s words to me at a much needed time!
Thanks, Kimberly. Isn’t it so sweet how our Abba-Father gives us what we need at the moment we need it?
Blessed me today. Needed to hear this.
So glad, Barbara!
Ava, I worry a lot. I worry about my kids, worry about money. Does that mean I don’t trust God to handle my worries. I know He is working in my life every day. I just need to trust more and pray more. Thank you for this post I brought me to Him.
Glad you found it helpful, Bonnie.
Ava, beautiful post. When we know and embrace Who we belong to, it eases a lot of the worry, doesn’t it? I never thought about the idea that worry takes us out of the present. Such a good insight! As I read those words and thought about them, God showed me times when worry has done just that. I became consumed with the “What If’s . . .” and lost those IRL moments with my family and those I was with.
I enjoy your blog. It always speaks to me, and I’m grateful for your purposeful explorations of God’s word. I’m teaching a girl’s Bible class this summer, and you give me ideas to share with them too. You met with me at the spring conference at Lake Yale, and I attended your continuing class. Thank you. I respect your teaching gift and pray for God’s embracing love and fulfillment as you go forward with new life adventures. Psalm 30:11-12 is a good one to think on and actually, I like the entire Psalm 30. How can we worry when we’re praising our Lord God forever? Blessings, Ava.
When I worry, I remember Phil 4:8 that tells us to think on things that are true. “If only” and “What IF?” are not truth. I cannot change the past or control the future. TRUTH tells me that God’s light directs my path … that’s my next few steps. This helps me not worry.
On another note, I’ve been asking God how He would have me handle the pain I experience for my family and friends who are hurting so badly. Really, it comes down to the same thing, doesn’t it? Only when I truly trust in God and the power of prayer can I cast these cares on the Lord instead of wearing the pain and heartache myself.
Thanks for this valuable message, Ava.
Thank you, Jeanne. Those pesky “what ifs” really do take us where we shouldn’t go, don’t they?!
Thank you for your kind encouragement, Sherry. It was so nice meeting you at the FCWC at Lake Yale. I’m glad the sessions there and this weekly blog have been helpful to you!
Oh, Barb – I can so relate. Often our worry for loved ones is worse than our worry for ourselves!
Thank you for this reminder! It is so much easier said than done. I always try to remind myself that God is in control so there is no need to worry, yet I find myself falling right back into it..
When we worry, we put the burden of outcome on our own shoulders. And we were never meant to carry that weight. I like to say God is CEO, am I in His seat? He is in control.
Great reminder. I am trying to lay down my worries more and more. Thanks
Me, too, Yvonne. But my problem is that I keep picking them back up!
Oh thank you for sharing God’s Word. I needed to read and will reread!!! Blessings!
So glad you found it helpful, Barbara!
(And I need to reread it for myself, too!)
The antidote to worry is to remember who we belong to! A great thought for a new week!
Thank you, Ava!