Being A Warrior, Not A Worrier
Worry: noun, A state of anxiety and uncertainty over actual or potential problems.
Verb, give way to anxiety or unease; allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles.
Synonyms: fret, agonize, over-think, panic.
Negative effects of worrying: can cause anxiety, appetite may be affected, lifestyle revolves around the worry or fear, relationships suffer, sleep suffers, overall performance suffers. Physically: can cause stress headaches, tension in neck, back, shoulders, the nervous system can be affected, you can be come physically ill, etc.
Do you worry? If we look at Webster’s definition, synonyms of the word, and the effects on our life and body—it’s pretty obvious worry is not something that is meant for the Christian. Let’s explore what the Bible says about worrying and what our alternative is as Christ-followers.
“Don't brag about tomorrow, since you don't know what the day will bring.”
First of all, we have no idea what tomorrow will bring; we don’t even know if there is going to be a tomorrow. As Christians, we realize that God is in control of everything all the time. Tomorrow is not a guarantee, therefore why should we ever worry about one thing or another if we do not know if there is going to be another moment?
“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
Here, Jesus gets into specific things that people worry about. What am I going to eat today? That’s a common one. Maybe it’s not on the level of someone who does not know where their next meal is coming from, but it’s something that we as Americans spend a great deal of our time worrying about. What am I going to wear? Millions of people are fretting about this one every day! What if it doesn’t look right, or what will they think of me if I wear this or that? I love the simplicity of Jesus’ counterpoints to these worries. God feeds the birds and He makes the plants beautiful; He’ll feed and clothe us because He loves us so much more than the birds and plants. What a comfort! We need only look to nature to know God is going to take care of us; no matter where we are on this planet, we can see this promise and example of why we shouldn’t worry.
In verse 32, Jesus points out that these worries are what unbelievers think of, not Christians because God is taking care of us, He knows what we need. In verse 33, Jesus then tells us what to do instead: seek the Kingdom of God and live righteously, and God will give you everything you need. There’s the counteraction to worry: seek the Kingdom of God and live righteously.
“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.”
Paul echoes these words of Jesus perfectly! Don’t worry about anything! Instead pray about everything! If you pray about everything, you don’t have to worry about anything. When we do this Paul says we will experience God’s peace, a peace that transcends understanding. That peace will guard our hearts and our minds. Is your mind still under attack to turn to sin? Is your heart led astray? Give everything to the Lord! Pray about everything! Don’t keep any worries for yourself! When we do this, God will send His peace upon us and our hearts and minds will be guarded by it. We desperately need that protection!
“How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it's here a little while, then it's gone.”
Echoing Proverbs 27:1, we don’t know if we’ll be here tomorrow. There might be another day after this one, but there’s no guarantee that we will live to see that day. Why spend your time worrying? Our lives are so fleeting in the perspective of eternity.
C.S. Lewis offers some thoughts on how time relates to God:
“Don’t bother about the idea that God ‘has known for millions of years exactly what you are about to pray’. That isn’t what it’s like. God is hearing you now, just as simply as a mother hears a child. The difference His timelessness makes is that this now (which slips away from you even as you say the word now) is for Him infinite. If you must think of His timelessness at all, don’t think of Him having looked forward to this moment for millions of years: think that to Him you are always praying this prayer.”
“Almost certainly God is not in time. His life does not consist of moments one following another…every other moment from the beginning of the world is always Present for Him. If you like to put it this way, He has all eternity in which to listen to the split second of prayer put up by a pilot as his plane crashes in flames.”
Time does not exist for God, and when we leave Earth, it will not exist for us—and, in that perspective, our lives are so fleeting. Why spend this miniscule time we have here worrying?
1 Peter 5:7
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”
Worrying is telling God He can’t handle what it is you are choosing to worry about. It’s no wonder that worrying has such a long list of effects on our lifestyle and health. When we tell the Lord God that He can’t do something, our bodies and our lives suffer. God is a loving Father who wants His children to lay their burdens down at His feet so He can handle them and pour out His blessings on our lives. “Give all your worries to God because He cares about you.” Is there anything more comforting than that truth? God cares about you. Why worry about anything? Instead of worriers, let us be warriors who pray without ceasing and give everything to the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 5:5-8
"For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded. Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk. But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation."
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.