John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, saw a link between swearing and worrying; seeing them both as acts of unbelief. Yet many people of faith fret continually over present problems and fear the future. They worry about family members, financial security, health and a number of other supposed impending disasters. If you are one of these anxious ones, try evaluating your fears.
Of the things you fear, how many are really likely to happen to you today? If you can feel safe for the remainder of the day, that is enough for now. “Do not worry about tomorrow,” said Jesus (Matthew 6:34). And that is good advice for every day of the year.
Think of the cares that would be canceled if we would escape anxiety about tomorrow
Most feel fairly safe about today, but the tomorrows are 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 your doctor to find out the results of the medical tests you took last week.
But what if tomorrow does hold unknown trials? Is worry likely to change anything?
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.”
Which of your concerns tormented you yesterday?
Have you been down this road before?
How many times have you been troubled by the same thought patterns that upset you today only to find that your expected tragedy didn’t occur? Can you trust God to continue to protect you?
While writing this column, the phone rang and upon answering I was reminded of the negative effects of fear on our health. This caller told of his difficulty in trying to sleep because of the number of people he knows who are losing their jobs, including his son. “I sleep about two hours,” he said, then wake up and am unable to unwind.”
“Worry is like sitting in a rocking chair,” I said. “It keeps you busy but you don’t go anywhere.”
“It’s a lack of faith,” he replied, letting me know he was on his way to finding peace.
Faith and fear are opposites.
And when faith wins fear loses.
Most of us have known people who were serene when everything seemed to be crashing down around them. In the most trying of circumstances, they have remained calm. Those going to comfort them have come away comforted. They have been living examples of the peace of God. The secret of peace in troubled times is being willing to let God carry our burdens for us, which is precisely what He has offered to do.
Urging his worried readers to take advantage of this invitation, Paul said: “Be anxious for nothing.” (Philippians 4:6). That’s worry free living. And Peter cinched the guarantee by inviting us to be care free....because God cares for you and me (1 Peter 5:7).