Last week on The Porch Blog, we exposed worry for what it truly is, and it felt good to learn the truth behind the thing that keeps many up at night. Worry is a thief, a liar, and a murderer (see how here).
But if you know that worry is no good, why do you keep worrying?
For some of you, anxiety is a little gnat that shows up every once in a while and eventually disappears; but for others, it can almost be a depressing hobby you find yourself entertaining on the reg. Something in your day triggers you, and what starts as a small anxious feeling turns into a full-on anxiety attack. Do you ever wonder why?
What if, at the onset of that anxious feeling, you had the power to stop that anxiety attack before it even starts?
We’re not talking about why you worry here–more than likely, you’ve got your reasons all listed out in a mental note. We’re going to get real for a sec about why worry has power over you in the first place.
God’s will for you is more than to be stuck drowning in worry, and sometimes it helps to just hear the cold hard truth.
1. Worry has power over you because you’re focused on the wrong things.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
Obsessing over self leads to exhausting anxiety. Obsessing over Jesus leads to peace.
Worry gains power over you by keeping you focused on the wrong thing. Your real problem turns into a real obsession, and instead of looking to the one who has the solution, you’re stuck looking at YOU.
Have you ever wondered why some people can go through awful things and have peace, while others crumble at the tiniest thing? It’s all about perspective. It’s about where your eyes are fixed.
An old tale says, “Two men looked through prison bars. One saw mud, the other saw stars.”
Whatever your “prison” is–the fear of not getting married, the family member you’re concerned for, the mess you’re not quite sure how to clean up–God knows what’s at stake for you, and he knows exactly what’s going to happen. And he doesn’t just know, he cares.
2. Worry has power over you because you’re not sure God cares for you.
“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?” Matthew 6:26
LBH, unless you’re a bird watcher (props to you), you’re probably around zero percent concerned for every bird in the universe having three meals a day. But God is. And if he cares for birds, how much more must he care for you–a person he made in his image with dignity, giftedness, and a future?
It’s understandable, though. Hard things have probably happened in life, and you’ve got to have someone to blame.
It might seem like God works things out for other people, but when it comes to you and your life, you’re not really sure he’ll come through.
Here’s what’s true: God is good, and he loves you. He can’t help but be good, and he can’t help but love you. It’s who he is.
God doesn’t just love people. God loves you. He cares about your situation, and he has a plan.
3. Worry has power over you because you think it’s all up to you.
“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil, nor spin, yet I tell you even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Matthew 6:28-29
Worry is always directly related to control.
You toil, you spin, you worry, because you think that if you don’t figure it out, nobody will. So, you’re caught between a rock and a hard place. Do you let things fall apart or do you take matters into your own hands?
Sometimes, however, your plan Z (the last thing you’d want to happen in life) is God’s plan A. Often, the very thing that’s got you worried is the very thing he’s using to work out good in your life.
Afterall, it’s not actually up to you anyways. God is the one in the driver’s seat. He is the one moving pieces around in the world and working everything out according to his plan.
Your perceived control is no control at all. While there may be actions you need to take, ultimately, worrying isn’t one of them, because the same God who cares about you is the one who is in control.
Let God do his job–to work things out, while you do yours–to trust him and be faithful with today.
Instead of letting worry have power over you, exercise your power to focus on God’s truth and to call to mind that God cares for you. And he’s in control.
Want practical steps you can take to kick worry in the shins? Meet us here next week for one last blog on Finding Freedom From Worry.