Worry is a thought, image, or emotion which comes upon us when have stopped trusting God and try to figure out our future on our own. But we are limited in our perspective and can’t actually see into the future and so we worry.
While it is true that we are all dying and that many of us will die of not very comfortable things, God is still using the circumstances in our lives to make us like Jesus. Last week’s lecture pointed out that God often doesn’t change our circumstances, but he will and does change how we think about those circumstances. Yesterday, our pastor preached through 1 Samuel 23 and noted that even though David was the rightful King of Israel, he was still hiding in the woods. He needed Jonathan to come and give him comfort. Did David have reason to worry? Well in the sense that he didn’t know the future, yes. But in the sense that he knew the one who controls the future, no.
Worry is always a lack of trust that God has things under control. Either he does, or he doesn’t. Either he loves us or he doesn’t. He can be in control, and he can let us die of a terrible untreatable cancer, and he loves us, all at the same time. Colossians 2:6 says that we are to live our lives from day to day in the same way we came to Christ in the first place–by faith. ‘Faith’ is translated from the Greek word that is also translated ‘belief’ and ‘trust.’ When we walk by faith, we are living in a way that trusts whatever God has in store for us.
The only thing worry can do is to bring on the thing we tend to worry the most about–bad health. It robs our joy. It saps our strength. It makes us edgy. It gives us an excuse to be angry with God, which unrecognized turns into bitterness. And it makes us no fun to be around.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Mat 6:33-34 ESV)