Think of the cares that would be cancelled if we could escape anxiety about our tomorrows. Most find little difficulty feeling safe for one day, but facing tomorrows can be tough.
Tomorrow the house payment is due. Tomorrow is the final day of grace on the insurance premium. Tomorrow is the day of your appointment with the doctor. Tomorrow the report on your medical tests will arrive. Tomorrow may hold unknown trials or unpleasant experiences.
How can we handle thoughts about tough tomorrows?
Will worrying about these possible perils help?
Not at all.
Ian McClaren wrote: “What does your anxiety do? It does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but it empties today of its strength. It does not make you escape evil – it makes you unfit to cope with it if it comes.
The One who came to bring us peace said, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble”
We’ve all wasted time worrying about things that never materialized.
Most things that make us fear and fret are those that haven’t happened yet. And in many cases these thieves of tranquility never show up. The fears that have you cowering in a corner may be entirely groundless. Things may turn out better than you think.
When John Edmund Haggai, author of “How To Win Over Worry,” was twenty-four and the pastor of his first church, he suffered a nervous breakdown. In addition to his pastoral work, he was taking nineteen college hours and conducting evangelistic meetings. Looking back on that experience, he wrote that the nervous breakdown came as the result of the sin of worry rather than his heavy workload.
Most aren’t as honest with themselves as Haggai. Worry itself seems hard enough to bear without adding guilt to it. Nevertheless, recognizing worry as sin started this overworked young minister on the road to recovery. Describing his discovery of the key to his return to health, Haggai wrote, “My wife felt sorry for me. My church felt sorry for me. My doctor felt sorry for me. But no one felt as sorry for me as I felt for myself.”
Tough as it was for him to acknowledge, Haggai didn’t recover until he was willing to admit that his faithless fears, being fed by self-pity, were sinful and needed to be confessed to his Lord so they could be forgiven.
John Wesley, the father of the Methodist Church, made this important discovery much earlier, saying he would just as soon swear as worry; seeing both as acts of unbelief.
Worry is another word for fear. Faith and fear are opposites.
And without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6)
So stop that faithless worrying about tomorrow and get on with faith filled living: one day at a time.
Roger Campbell is an author, a broadcaster and columnist who was a pastor for 22 years. He can be reached at email@example.com