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Monday, November 19, 2012 | Comments (3)

by John MacArthur

If you worry, what kind of faith do you manifest? “Little faith,” according to Jesus (Matthew 6:30). If you are a child of God, you by definition have a heavenly Father. To act like you don’t, nervously asking, “What will I eat? What will I drink? What will I wear for clothing?” is to act like an unbeliever in God’s eyes (vv. 31-32).

Christians who worry believe God can redeem them, break the shackles of Satan, take them from hell to heaven, put them into His kingdom, transform their nature, and give them eternal life, but just don’t think He can get them through the next couple of days. That is pretty ridiculous. We can believe God for the greater gift and then stumble and not believe Him for the lesser one.

The Worrier Strikes Out at God

Some might say, “Why make a big deal out of worry? It’s just a trivial sin.” No, it is not. I suspect many mental illnesses and some physical illnesses are directly related to worry. Worry is devastating. But more important than what worry does to you is what it does to God. When you give in to worry you are saying, in effect, “God, I just don’t think I can trust You.” Worry strikes a blow at the person and character of God.

The Worrier Disbelieves Scripture

It breaks my heart to hear some Christians say, “I believe in the inerrancy of Scripture,” but then live as perpetual worriers. That’s blatant hypocrisy. It is incongruous to say how much we believe the Bible and then live in doubt and worry that God won’t fulfill what He has said in it.

The Worrier Is Mastered by Circumstances

When you or I worry, we are choosing to be mastered by our circumstances instead of by the truth of God. The uncertainties and trials of life pale in comparison to the greatness of our salvation. Jesus wants us to realize it doesn’t make sense to believe God can save us from eternal hell, but can’t help us in the practical matters of life. The apostle Paul reflects a similar desire in Ephesians 1:18-19.

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.

When you catch yourself worrying, go back to Scripture and have your eyes opened again.

The Worrier Distrusts God

When we worry, we are not trusting our heavenly Father. That means we don’t know Him well enough. Take heart—there’s an effective remedy: study the Word of God to find out who He really is and how He has supplied the needs of His people in the past. That will build your confidence in Him for the future. Stay fresh in God’s Word every day so that His truth is constantly on your mind. Otherwise Satan is apt to move into the vacuum and tempt you to worry about something. Instead, let God’s track record in Scripture and in your own life assure you that worry is needless because of God’s bounty, senseless because of God’s promise, useless because of its impotence to do anything productive, and faithless because it is characteristic of unbelievers.

Tomorrow we’ll look at Jesus’ final reason for not worrying about this life.

(Adapted from Anxious for Nothing.)


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#1  Posted by Ray Shaver  |  Monday, November 19, 2012 at 10:19 AM

I have always had a terrible time in the battle against worry. I actually wonder if it can partly be genetic. My mom, and wonderful Christian lady who read the Bible daily and was a prayer warrior, also had a terrible time with worrying and anxiety.

I've read Anxious for Nothing, and it was a wonderful book. Guess what, I still am fighting anxiety. It's like I need to read this book every day for the rest of my life.

Thanks for the book and thanks for the blog. Great reminders.

#2  Posted by Clay Kik  |  Monday, November 19, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Reading Pastor John's commentary about anxiety I am confused about Jesus anxiety. It seems to me that all anxiety is disbelief and sin, but Jesus was so anxious before His death He sweated blood. How is this circumstance different than some of our personal struggles with fear and anxiety? Obviously, we are not facing crucifixion as Christ, but He did experience severe anxiety which I have not seen addressed on how His response differs from ours.

#3  Posted by Brittany Helsinger  |  Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 5:46 AM

God has recently brought to light the fact that fear and anxiety have a stronghold on me. I am not worried about trivial things. It actually comes from a huge fear of vommitting. It's almost a phobia. I am terrified of it. It started when I was in High School and I had an awful virus that woke me up in the middle of the night shaking. It instilled a fear of throwing up. It sounds ridiculous but if I even hear about someone being sick or their kids being sick I have an anxiety attack in the middle of the night or before I fall asleep. These anxiety attacks are so powerful I feel paralyzed but I shake uncontrollably at the same time. I can barely utter a word. I think about it before every meal. It's awful. I'm even terrified to have kids because I know I will have to be around it more. I have been praying and seeking the Lord for help but I feel like I am going to deal with this forever. I can look at trials in my life and know God is sovereign and that he is using them to sanctify me, but this I just can't shake.