Let’s admit it. We know we’re not supposed to worry and yet we do.
We worry about finances, our health, and the health of those we love. We worry about what’s already happened and about what hasn’t yet taken place.
There’s a myriad of reasons why we shouldn’t worry. Worry causes stress which prematurely ages us, gives us wrinkles, and wreaks havoc on our health. Worry negatively affects our relationships with others who don’t want to be around a worry wart.
But what if I told you the real reasons you and I worry have more to do with our relationship with God than the people and situations we’re worried about? The reasons you worry probably aren’t the reasons you’re thinking, but as soon as you know them, you may be able to convince yourself to stop.
Here are five primary reasons you and I worry and how to stop it right now.
- We worry because we forget God is all-powerful.
We worry because we forget about God’s power. We forget what He’s capable of and we start to believe we must take care of things ourselves. We start panicking that we’re on our own, and we might not be able to handle it. You know what? We can’t handle it. It’s why we need Him. God wants us to realize and admit our weakness so He can be strong on our behalf.
God often wants to do through us, what is beyond us. So when you’re faced with a situation in which you feel weak or powerless, rather than worry, call upon the Only One who take care of the situation.
God’s power to take care of whatever concerns you is there for the asking. We must first humble ourselves, admit we are powerless, and ask for His power. James 4:10 says: “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
Whatever your circumstance, if you’re feeling weak and full of worry right now, His power is available to you for the asking.
2. We worry because we’ve forgotten His presence.
One of the first things that causes us to worry is the fear that we are alone…or we will have to deal with someone on our own. Or perhaps we worry for someone else because we fear they are alone. But when we do that, we’ve clearly forgotten God’s presence – that He’s right here with us, going before us, walking alongside us, and watching our backs.
In Psalm 139:7 David asks “Where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee your presence?” And then he answers his question in the next five verses by explaining the staying power of God’s presence. Read it. Highlight it. Believe it. And ask for God’s power to live it.
Basically, the God of the Universe won’t let you out of His protective sight. That’s one incredible thought. That’s one comforting thought. And that should keep you from worrying. When you’re tempted to fret that you are alone in your worrisome situation, remember His presence. And start talking to Him as if He’s right here. Because He is.
3. We worry because we don’t truly believe God is capable.
At the root of all of our “What if” questions and worries is what we really believe about God. When our minds play through the various what ifs…the question we are really asking is “What if God isn’t capable?” and “What if God can’t handle this?”
There is a reason God’s Word tells us clearly not to worry. Philippians 4:6-7 in the New Living Translation says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
As you give God all of your what ifs, worries, and anxieties, He can calm your heart, give you His peace, and remind you that He is in absolute control.
4. We worry because we try to control our lives and the lives of others.
It is in our human nature to try to control our lives and the lives of everyone else around us. We believe, at times, that it’s up to us to right all wrongs and fix all things broken. But only God can restore the broken, heal the hurting, and bring ultimate justice.
After a season of life in which he was convinced he had no control over what God had clearly allowed, Job said: “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted” (42:1). And in case God’s people became prideful and started to think their victories were at their own hands, the Psalmist corrected them when he sang: “It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them” (Psalm 44:3).
Worry dissolves as you surrender to God and admit you are not in control of anything– He is.
5. We worry because we don’t really believe God is good.
God is good … all the time. As the perfect parent (which none of us are), He wants only the best for His children (Matthew 7:11). God is good because He causes all things (even the things you’re tempted to worry about) to work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). He causes all situations to work for good by using them to make you more like Jesus (Romans 8:29). So trust His goodness, not just temporarily but eternally. He wants for you what will shape you for eternity. That means you don’t need to worry about what happens around you. Nothing can come close to you that hasn’t first passed through His loving hands (Romans 8:38-39).
Can you surrender your worries to the Only One who can work all things out according to His good and perfect plan?