The True Cost of Worry

Just like that, driving along, it came to me. Six little words that packed a huge punch.

"Worry robs God of His diety." 

Deity means: "The character or essential nature of God; One exalted or revered as supremely good or powerful."

Got that? Supremely Powerful...

When we worry, we are subconsciously saying, "God can't handle this one." We lack assurance that He is control. In essence, we're saying He isn't Supremely Powerful. We rob God of His deity.

The Christian life is not free of worrisome situations. The Christian life is freedom from worry despite the situation.

A Christian filled with worry is no better off than an atheist.

There, I've gone and said it. No "ouch" intended. 

For some reason, Christians often allow worry as an acceptable sin. If they’re worrying about a person, they think it indicates love and caring. If they’re worried about finances, they think they’re being a good provider. But worry is not from God.

Worry is meditating on the wrong things. It is allowing the disturbing circumstance to repeat over and over in your mind.

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul wrote from prison that despite his dire circumstances, he chose to rejoice. (Phil. 1:18b) And he encourages us to do the same:

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:4-7
After telling us to choose to rejoice, Paul went on in to describe how. His antidote to worry = “do not be anxious, but..”:
  1. in everything – not in some things, but in all things
  2. by prayer and supplication – conversation with God and sharing your struggle with Him
  3. with thanksgiving – we don’t need to thank God FOR the difficulties, but rather in spite of them, what can we thank God for?
  4. let your requests be made known to God – not that He doesn’t know them already, but voicing them to Him helps give us clarity.
  5. The peace "which surpasses all understanding" is abnormal peace. If it was normal, we'd understand it. God's peace is the peace that we experience despite difficult situations.

And it is His promise to us.

Paul goes on to tell us when the worry monster rears its ugly head, we ought to meditate on different things about instead – the things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good reputation, excellent, praiseworthy. (Phil 4:8) If we do, “the God of peace will be with you.” (Phil 4:9)

Note that “the peace of God, ... will guard your hearts and minds...” preceeds Paul’s instructions on our thought life. And “the God of peace will be with you” follows it. 

You might say the “peace of God” and the “God of peace” are bookends surrounding our thought life, and the antidote to worry, putting God back on the throne and restoring His deity.  

What worries you, my friend? Can we pray together that you will be able to lay worry aside and think/meditate on Him? 
(this is my post today at Laced With Grace)


lynnmosher said...

Susan, this is one of my soapboxes. Such is an excellent post! Thank you!

lynnmosher said...

Oops! No edit button! Such an...

Susan Panzica said...

haha! Lynn, thank you - and mine too! Looking back, I realize this is a popular topic of mine.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Susan,

Good word! I'm in a situation right now where the temptation to worry is strong.

God bless,
Susan :)

Susan Panzica said...

I'll keep that in prayer for you. Thankfully, God is stronger than our temptations! Hope Mom has a speedy recovery! Please say "hi" to her for me.

Kimberly Amici said...

Good stuff, I tend to worry over the past (things I have done, messed up, etc.) but not necessarily the future. I love the idea of the book ends. I am so grateful for the peace that we can have in Christ.