“I love salad, cats, and feeling like the world is caving in on me,” said no one ever.
Okay, you may actually be into salad and cats—we’ll pray for you—but we’re pretty sure that “be anxious” didn’t make the top of your to-do list today. Why is it, then, that anxiety and worry capitalize so much of people’s time and well-being?
A recent study showed that 40 million Americans struggle with anxiety. And that was before a worldwide pandemic changed everything.
If the temptation to worry plagued you before, chances are this current “plague” we’re calling the Coronavirus has amped up your worry meter to epic proportions. You, like many other young adults right now, may have a morning routine that looks something like wake up, scan the news, check the gram, spiral into an anxiety attack before you even hit the shower. It’s unfortunate. But you’re definitely not alone, and it doesn’t have to be this way.
The solution? Let’s start by exposing worry for what it actually is—a liar; a thief; and, if you really think about it, a murderer.
1. Worry is a Liar.
The human race has wholly bought into the lie that worry can give you a sense of control over your circumstances. One mental health expert even explains it this way, “Worry is a way for your brain to handle problems in order to keep you safe.”
In other words, worry subconsciously convinces you that the time and energy you spend thinking about what could happen is a contribution to your safety, part of a fix, or even a cure. But, according to God’s Word, it’s just not true.
Worry lies by making you think you have more power than you actually do. You worry because you think it’s all up to you. While you may have some responsibility in a matter, God is ultimately in control of your future, your health, and even your relationship status.
Worry makes you think you’re in control. The truth is that God is the only one with ultimate authority, power, and control; and nothing you do or don’t do can change his plans.
“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” Job 42:2
2. Worry is a Thief.
If you’re like any other young adult in the history of the world, you probably have dreams and goals, or, at a minimum, desires for what you want your life to look like. Whether you realize it, your life and future are shaped by what happens today. Life is made up of moments, and the choices you make in these moments are either taking you in the direction you want to go or in a direction you don’t want to go.
Worry steals by taking your time, energy, and opportunity. Worry robs you of the opportunity to be the person you want to be. When your day is consumed by thoughts of ‘what if’ that lead to feelings of worry, you’ve been robbed of the chance to live the way you want to live that day.
More than how you want to live or what you want for your future, God has a plan for your life and for your moments, and worry won’t do anything to help you.
“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” Matthew 6:27
3. Worry is a Murderer.
Let’s face it. Even though you don’t want to worry, you do. And every time you let worry lie to you, you feed it. As you sit in your worry, you nurture it. What’s fed and watered grows. As worry grows, it becomes more powerful; and finally, the more powerful worry is, the more it steals from you—first your moments, then your hope, maybe your future, and ultimately your faith.
Worry murders by killing your faith. Faith is the ground that keeps you steady, the belief that whatever your circumstances, God is good, loves you, and is in control. The result of that faith is joy, hope, and peace because you know that God works all things out for the good of those who love him and that one day he’’ll make all things right. Worry doesn’t want that for you; Jesus does. Worry threatens your ability to believe and live.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
Worry is a liar, a thief, and a murderer. Instead of giving your life to it, why not fight back? When worry lies to you, speak the truth. When worry steals your thoughts, take them back. Answer your worries with God’s power by taking every thought captive to obey Christ.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
Instead of being a worrier, start training to be a warrior. Study God’s Word relentlessly so that you’re ready to fight worry with truth. Find biblical community so you don’t have to battle alone. And most of all, what worry has already killed in you—hope, assurance of salvation, security—let Jesus bring back to life.
Jesus, the Son of God, died and was raised to life again, paying the punishment that everyone deserves for sin. Anyone who believes Jesus is Lord and trusts him for salvation has eternal life, eternal hope, and eternal security. That person can find peace and comfort, knowing that one day God will do away with worry and everything that leads to it for those who believe in him.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4
We know one blog won’t solve all your worry probs, but at least now you’ve exposed worry for what it is. Next week, we’ll be back for more. Meet you here—same time, same place for more on Finding Freedom From Worry.