As much as I want to fight it and deny it, I’m a worrier.
I’ve tried to reason through the source of worries to send them away. They come from confusion (what’s the best answer/path?), they come from perfectionism (what if I make a mistake?), and they come from fear (what will happen?)
But the one that I have to consistently remind myself of? They come from lack of faith and trust.
When Left to My Own
When we think of ‘do not worry’ verses, many of us may think of Matthew 6:25-34.
And every single one of those verses is great.
But look at the beginning of Matthew 6:25:
“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?”
Look at that first word: therefore. Several people over the years have said whenever you see ‘therefore,’ you need to look at what’s before.
And what’s before this section, in Matthew 6:19-24? It’s all about what we store in our hearts.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:21
Worry and lack of faith and lack of trust fill up our hearts and our minds with division and doubt.
By nature, we’re created to hold on to something. When we don’t hold on to faith, we hold on to a mess of other things: worry, theology in a box, expectations, addictions, anger, self-sufficiency. But none of these things fill those holes.
Strengthening faith doesn’t negate our physical needs or otherwise. We still need strength, we still need healing, we still need provision.
But all this points to needing wholeness. You need wholeness; I need wholeness; my amazing kids and husband need wholeness. And the only place we can receive that is through connection (or reconnection, really) with Who made us.
Christ follows the previously mentioned section with our famous verses on worry (Matthew 6:25-34):
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? … Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? …
If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you–you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, an your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
I often liken worrying to forgetting and to lacking. Lacking faith in His presence, His ability, and, really, His desire to show me grace-filled love. I’ve plain forgotten the hundreds of times God has spelled it out in the Bible that He provides, He loves, He sustains. What does forgetting do except add more worry and lack of faith?
So here’s what I’ve begun doing recently: I don’t know if it really ‘works’ yet, but I think it’s a start. When I feel that spiral of lacking faith in some capacity or another (because it always feels like a sinking, downward spiral), I pray out Mark 9:24:
“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Want another resource on growing in faith?
Check out our “By Faith” series on Hebrews 11 here.
How do you renew your strength and faith through doubt and worry?