Category:Apologetics, Christian Living
“by anxiety about the present life, the more do we show our unbelief, if every thing does not happen to our wish. Many persons, accordingly, who in great prosperity appear to possess faith, or at least to have a tolerable share of it, tremble when any danger of poverty presents itself…” – John Calvin on 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? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” – Matthew 6:30–32
- Why is worrying so bad?
- Defames God
- Rejects God’s sovereignty
- Denies God’s omnipotence
- Belies God’s benevolence
- Leads you away from God
- Reveals our lack of faith
- Remedies of worrying:
- Seek His Kingdom (Matthew 6:33)
- Cast your anxieties on Him (1 Peter 5:6-7)
- Pray, supplicate, and give thanks (Philippians 4:6-7)
- Pervasive genuine Godly view (Philippians 4:8)
- Sanctified living (Philippians 4:9)
One of the most common and perplexing phenomena that I observe these days in Christendom is that of worrying. I can readily accept that an atheist may worry about life’s struggles or how they will navigate much of life’s obstacles but it seems counter intuitive that a Christian who recognizes a sovereign God still can question and speculate knowingly or otherwise about God’s providence.
Beyond the intellectual inconsistency of a Christian who worries, I do recognize that we must battle the flesh and our prideful tendency to view life as a solo effort. We must also surpass the emotional predisposition we have to worry. It is only natural that when we are met with uncertainty it causes worry and this in turn infects our lives with the plagues of stress (i.e. physical and spiritual side effects). However, it is this rebellious instinct that we must ward off with the help of the Spirit by seeking God’s kingdom and recognizing that it doesn’t make sense for a Christian to worry. We can trust and have the peace that can only be given by a God who is omniscient (all knowing), omnipresent (ever present), and omnipotent (all powerful). After all, if God knows our needs and is able to provide for those needs in accordance with His will, it stands to reason that things are as they should be. This fact stands in spite of our limited abilities to always understand the reason for the struggles of life and lack of clarity of what is around the next corner. We obviously cannot understand all that God has in store for us with a finite mind as that would require us to venture into the territory of the infinite (His ways are definitely higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9)). In short, we should let God be God and man be man.
By the grace of the Spirit, we are equipped to fight our prideful and emotional tendencies by resting in His hands and trusting Him with our lives – each and every part. As we understand God’s nature, we must also respond with a way of living and thinking consistent with who He is and who we are as His children. This is why I started preparing my sermon with the title “Don’t worry, be happy!” but then realized that a more accurate title (“Can’t worry, be happy!”) should be based upon the fact that as Christians we can’t worry – it just doesn’t make any sense if we do. God is always greater than the circumstances we find ourselves in.