Worry: A Symptom of a Deeper Problem
Have you ever noticed how often the Bible speaks of worry? It is unquestionably something that God knew we would be challenged with. None of us are strangers to the idea. We have all dealt with it, been faced with it, or seen it in varying degrees.
Philippians 2 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
You may be wondering why I quoted Philippians 2 and what it has to do with worry. This passage, if you can believe it, is at the very root of why we worry: our desire to control. Verse 7 says that Christ took the form of a servant. And what is the single thing that servants do? Follow the will of another. Everything that Jesus did was according to the will of the Father, done in an example of supreme obedience (John 12:49, Hebrews 10:7.)
In the same way, as is iterated earlier in the same context of Philippians 2, we are to become servants of one another, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” To become a true servant, first we must learn the act of submission, to remove our will and follow the will of another. We must learn to let go of our desire to control. We must empty ourselves of our own interests first and desire to seek out the interests of others.
Matthew 6:30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Here is the issue of worry summed up: Worry is a sign of a lack of faith. God has told us that we should not worry, because He will take care of us (Matthew 6:25-34, Luke 12:24-34, 1 Peter 5:6-8, Philippians 4:6-7.) If then, we continue to weigh ourselves down with anxiety and worry, the reality is, we do not trust God, and we do not trust His Word. Faith is confidence, and trust that God is real and all He said is true, even though we have not seen it, or received it (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is the driving force behind obedience. It is what motivated all those in Hebrews 11 to take an action. Noah constructed the ark. Abraham went out for the land of promise, not knowing where he was going. Moses chose to suffer with God’s people, instead of living in the sinful pleasures of Pharaoh’s house. All these accomplished things by acting upon the faith that they had in God.
“Do not be anxious about anything” – Philippians 4:6
Worry can grip you, and it can cripple you. Yet it is merely a symptom of much greater problem: a self-interested desire to be in control and a lack of faith. A lack of faith can be completely eradicated by one simple solution. That is studying the Bible. Romans 10:17 holds the key, “So faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Notice how closely tied the concepts of obedience and belief are with faith by reading verse 16 preceding. As we study and learn more of God, His nature, His plan, and His will, our faith grows. We can connect the dots, seeing the truth in a book that would have been impossible for mankind to dream up alone. Our love for God grows, as we see all that He has done for us, especially in the gift of His Son.
6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Give all your worries to God, as David so often did in Psalms (ex: Psalm 55) and then let them alone (1 Peter 5:7) because God already knows your struggles, and He knows your needs before you even ask (Matthew 6:8.) Read the Psalms and praise God for his greatness (Psalm 8, Psalm 139), for how could a God so amazing, so awesome, care so intensely for my being? If my God loves me this much, then what do I really have to worry about?
- Skyler Meek