worry and anxiety
If I were to describe myself to you I would certainly say that I am a creature of habit. I like things to be regular and safely familiar. I hate change. Unfortunately, life is a cycle of change. From growing up, moving houses, changing from primary school to high school to University, on it goes from one stage of life to another. And combining this life of ever changing circumstances and my dread of the new and strange has often resulted is anxiety and overwhelming worry.
Worry is wonderfully summed up in the following. It ‘is evidence that we don’t truly trust God. We might say that we do, but if we are continually giving into worry, we are displaying that we don’t believe what he says in His word.’ (Heather Cofer) Have you ever thought of worry and anxiety in that way before- that it is failing to trust in God? If we go even one step further, worry is sin. Philippians 4:6-7 says to be anxious for nothing. God commands us not to worry and when we allow anxiety to remain with us, we disobey God.
What is the root of our worry? For me it is often that I don’t feel like I am in control and am uncertain of the future. In these times of uncertainty I’ve often asked myself questions like ‘does God really know me?’ ‘Does God really know what’s best for me?’ It may sound silly but isn’t it so easy to lose sight of who God is and His nature? Here are a couple truths about God that you can reflect on next time you’re tempted to doubt and worry.
God knows you intimately:
Jesus says that He knows how many hairs are on your head. (Matt 10:30) Now that may sound like a bit of a funny detail for God to know, but if He knows such a thing as the number of our strands of hair, just imagine how much more God cares to know about every detail of ourselves.
Psalm 139:3 is another verse we see God’s knowledge of us. We are told that God is acquainted with all of our ways. He knows every move we make, every fear, desire, care, and worry that we have. (Read Psalm 139:1-18)
God knows your situation:
In Job 34:21 we read that God’s eyes are on our ways and that He sees all of our steps. If you remember Job, he had a lot going on and a lot of reason to worry (from our perspective). But God knew every detail of Job’s situation and was not unaware of the trials and uncertainty he was going through.
(Read also Job 31:4, Psalm 33:13-15, Psalm 56:8)
God knows best:
Psalm 37:4 says Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. This verse is particularly good to remember. It doesn’t mean that God will give us everything that we want, but rather that as we delight ourselves in Him, seek to know and honour God, that He will develop in us a heart after His own and fulfil those desires which He creates.
(See also Romans 8:28)
God, who created you and sustains your life, knows you! He knows your heart. He knows every detail about you, your situation, your desires, and your future. I’m sure that as you reflect over past events you can see that God knew what He was doing, that He knew what was best and provided for you in ways you couldn’t imagine. Remember His nature next time you are tempted to allow worry to consume you. Remember His promises and His faithfulness.