When it comes to sin, we often think about some obvious ones such as greed, pride, lust, adultery, even murder, just to name a few. It may not be easy to sidestep ALL these each day, but with a little effort, I certainly think it can be done. However, how about some less obvious “sins” such as worry, anxiousness and trying to forge your own path rather than trusting in God’s plan for you? Much, much, more difficult I’d say from personal experience (up and to including today).
The world pulls us in many different directions on a daily basis. Between bills that need to be paid, our spouse, kids, our health, difficult clients, etc., there always seems to be a neverending list of "stuff" to worry about. Ever think about what all this worrying says to God? Quite simply it means that we don’t "trust" Him enough to take care of whatever it is we’re anxious about. Ouch. This, even after God has said, “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11). Sounds pretty cut and dry to me. God not only is not out to harm us, but instead, has already planned our future. So, with that in mind, what’s there really to worry about? For “if God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).
Believe me, I know it’s difficult not to stress out when the unexpected happens, our bank account is hovering near zero, or we’re thinking about an upcoming work project, but that’s where we need to stop the worrying and start the praying! “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7). By simply praying, we are telling God that we NEED Him, and we can’t solve all these issues on our own. Furthermore, why WOULD we want to try to take on these worries by ourselves, as God already knows what’s going to happen!
Now, there may not be an immediate answer to your prayer, or you may get an answer you weren’t hoping for, but through prayer, you’ll have the peace of mind in knowing that God is on the case (and He’ll be pleased you even asked!). Even if the unexpected happens, you’ll be sure it was indeed God’s will, and He’ll figure out a way to strengthen and help you through it. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). And, regardless of the outcome, “May the Lord of peace give you peace in every circumstance.” (2 Thessalonians 3:16). If the choice is between “peace" (with God) or “worry” (on our own) I think the answer is obvious.
When you find yourself worrying, try this three-step solution. First, ask God’s forgiveness for your lack of faith. We are imperfect, so sin will happen in our lives, but it’s important to acknowledge these sins to our Heavenly Father. It’s ok to ask, as He will respond by pouring out His abundant and forgiving grace upon us because He loves us so. Second, pray for His guidance in the situation. Tell Him exactly how you are feeling and what you’d like to see happen (doesn't mean you'll get what you want, but it's ok to share your thoughts). Finally, release all your concerns into His capable hands. God created the entire universe so I’m quite confident He can handle whatever it is you have going on. “Trust” God’s answer to the concerns you release onto Him, as it is His will for you. We may not like the answer we receive, or even understand it at the time, but God does, and that’s all that’s important.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.” (Isaiah 55:8). What we may perceive as bad, God may be using for our own good, and then for His glory down the road, so "always" keep the faith and "stop" all the worrying.