Do you worry? By worry, I mean going behind simple concern into a place filled with fear, anxiety or even depression? Unfortunately I do, and it is something I struggle with - and deep down wish I didn't. As a kid, and later as a teenager, I worried very little, but as I've grown older and have a career and family, I worry about success, health and safety. When I watch the news or learn more about the culture we are living in, I worry about my children's future. I worry about the Church and how we continue to reach people for Christ amidst a culture blinded to truth.
IS MY WORRY A TRUST ISSUE?
What are things you worry about? Maybe your worries are similar to my worries or maybe they are different, but it is something we all would probably agree we wish we could overcome. Many of us worry about things we aren't even capable of controlling. Many times at the heart of my worry is doubt - doubt that I'm capable, doubt that I can be successful, doubt that my actions will make the world a better place. However, I sometimes wonder if my worry is a trust issue, and sometimes I think the answer is yes.
Sadly, on this side of heaven I think life will have some anxieties or worries. We live in a broken world and the evidence of that is all around, and sometimes I think the result of our anxiety is the inner struggle we feel knowing things are corrupted and evil. So we develop a lack of trust in people, work, relationships, and ultimately in Christ. We don't consciously make the choice to lose trust in Christ, but it happens. We wonder if He can handle our situations. So what do we do? Put on a smile and pretend everything is great in our lives when we have genuine struggles - or do we sulk in our circumstances and allow our worry to consume us? Surely there is a balanced approach, one where we can admit our struggle yet continue living joyfully.
As I've wrestled with this struggle, I've come to adopt a phrase that has helped me many times. The phrase goes:
IF JESUS _____ THEN HE CAN _______.
Consider the following list of things Jesus did:
Carried the cross
Embraced the thorns
Took the nails
Gasped for air
Sweat out blood
Healed the sick
Cured the blind
Drove out the demons
Gave up his breath
Laid down his life
Sat at the right hand
Gave Love to all
Taught the lame
Cried with mourners
Took the torture
Took a spear to his side
Was beaten severely
Ate with sinners
Was publicly disgraced
Whose identity was challenged
After you have completed the first blank, then fill in the second blank with your worry.
If Jesus carried the cross then He can carry my burdens.
If Jesus took the nails then He can feel my pain.
If Jesus healed the sick then He can heal me too.
I'd Jesus defeated temptations then He can defeat mine too.
If Jesus cried with mourners then He can comfort me.
If Jesus took the torture then He can help me persevere.
TRUST IN JESUS
I think Jesus provides us the balance we need because in Him we can be honest about our struggles, yet confident in his power. This phrase helps us restore our faith and trust in Jesus by acknowledging He is all powerful and capable of all things! I challenge you to learn this phrase and repeat it when necessary to help you remember the power Jesus has to overcome anything in our lives, our worry and anxieties included. Actually, if you are so willing, complete this phrase in the comment box and share your worries so others can pray.
Finally, No Longer Slaves by Bethel Music (© 2014) is a song that reminds me that Jesus provides all things and takes care of my burdens. If you are struggling with worry or anxiety, I highly recommend you download that song and learn it. It's a beautiful reminder of how powerful Jesus is and how we need to put our trust in Him and worry no more.
Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you. – 1st Peter 5:7 (NLT)