It’s hard not to worry. As someone who frequently struggles with anxiety, the urge to worry can sometimes border on addiction. It can start with anything: your health, your finances, your family, your job, and suddenly this factor becomes your entire life. You try to go about things like normal, but terrible thoughts still manage to creep into the background. But what does God have to say about our fears?
Kevin DeYoung of The Gospel Coalition knows what it’s like to worry. In fact, his latest article opens with several scenarios many Christians might recognize. To help readers who frequently feel overwhelmed, DeYoung offers seven pieces of advice, including the following,
“God cares about you (Matt. 6:28-30). God makes the wild flowers grow. Why? Because he wants to. Because they’re pretty. Because he’s creative. Because he likes beauty. Because he wants people to enjoy them. Because he cares about flowers. And he even cares about grass. The grass is going to die. Your lawn will be brown. It will be cold, frozen, dead–probably is already. But in a few months, it will all come back. And you won’t have anything to do with it. Maybe you’ll plant some more seed. Maybe you’ll get a lawn care specialist out to help make things super great. But even if you do nothing, the grass will come back. Because God is God and he likes green grass.”
“Do you see what Jesus calls worriers? He calls us ‘little faiths.’ Our worry is an insult to God’s character. When we worry we are not believing the truth about God. We are doubting that he sees, that he knows, that he cares, that he is more than able. Faith is more than a vague notion that Jesus existed and we are going to heaven if we ask him into our hearts. Faith is a practical way of looking at the world. Biblical faith extends to all of life, not merely to the salvation of our souls. When we worry, we are telling God, ‘I don’t trust you to run my life. I don’t think you’re really in control. I had better worry about these things. I need to do everything to take care of myself, because I’m not sure you will.’ But think about it: God takes care of wild animals. He takes care of wild flowers. He even takes care of grass. Why wouldn’t he take care of you?”
This can be a difficult message to accept. Like I said, the urge to worry can be addicting, and just because God loves us does not mean that bad things will never happen. Still, it should encourage Christians to know that they are not alone. God does not ignore or dismiss our fears, but knows them rather intimately. As DeYoung stated so adamantly, God cares about you!
I’d like to close with a familiar Bible passage that has helped me in times of distress, I hope that it reciting it will give readers the same peace it has often given me.
"The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever." - Psalm 23
May God bless you, and keep you strong in your times of worry.
**Ryan Duncan is the Entertainment Editor of Crosswalk.com