John is a forty-two year old husband and father of three. John has worked for the same company since college and has provided well for his family. Last June, hard economic times hit his community and John was informed that his position at work would be eliminated within three months. He has now been unemployed for several months and his savings are gone. John never thought of himself as a worrier, but for the first time he is facing uncertain times with great fear. He tries to reason that he is only concerned and not worried, but he is finding it difficult to concentrate, and even to do the most basic tasks around the house. His relationship with his wife has become strained, and the only topic of conversation seems to be about the future and money. John has just begun to realize that worry is beginning to affect every area of his life.
Becky is a single mother of two children ages twelve and fourteen. Recently, after a routine physical, Becky learned that a nagging pain in her left shoulder was more serious than expected. While test results are still pending, she fears that her doctor suspects cancer. Her mind goes immediately to her children. If she is diagnosed with cancer, how will her children make it? Even if she survives cancer, how can they as a family endure whatever treatments will be necessary? She cannot miss work and has no extra money for increased costs of medical care. Suddenly she finds herself in a panic. Sometimes, almost without warning, she begins to sweat, her breathing is labored, her chest hurts, and her vision is blurred. The first time it happened she went to the emergency room. She has since been diagnosed with “panic attack syndrome.” Now she is worried about worrying. The cycle seems vicious, and she wants desperately to find a solution that will break the cycle.
Fear and Worry
Whether struggling with major potentially life altering circumstances or minor circumstances of irritation, fear and worry can become so common in our lives that they affect our relationships, jobs, families, and more.
Fear and worry are both closely related and fall in varied ways on the same spectrum of feelings. They sometimes overlap and can be defined based on their intensity. Fear is the emotion of serious distress, which is aroused by impending danger, evil, or pain – whether real or imagined. Worry is to feel uneasy or anxious about something. Both fear and worry can be experienced over current circumstances, or over what one might believe the future holds. However we define it, we all seem to know when it is present. All is not well, peace seems evasive, uneasiness sets in, and a desire for relief is sought.
What’s the Source of Our Fear and Worry?
The Bible leaves no room for debate. The source of fear and worry is unbelief. The unbelief is specific, spelled out for us by Jesus. When we fail to believe that God is for us, that He will take care of us, has our future in His hands, and is with us right now, we cave in to fear and worry. Jesus says that the root of worry is inadequate faith in our Father’s future grace (Matthew 6:30). As unbelief gets the upper hand in our hearts, one of the effects is anxiety. The root cause of anxiety is a failure to trust all that God has promised to be for us in Jesus.
What’s the Solution?
Believe. What has God promised, and what has he revealed to us that helps us with this problem of fear and worry? Jesus teaches us that we have a God who cares deeply for us, knows all of our needs, meets our needs, and frees us from fear and worry so that we may seek him with all of our heart.
Matthew 6 – Jesus Comforts Those Who Fear and Worry
Does This Really Apply to My Fear and Worry?
Yes. If you belong to God as one of His dear children, you can be assured that He loves and cares for you today as He has for others so many years ago. God sent His Son into the world to live a perfect life, to die as a sacrifice for our sins, and to be raised from the dead, defeating death and proving His deity, in order that we may believe in Him and be the recipients of His many promises. God is the same “yesterday, today and forever,” and has said, “He will not change.” His loving kindness extends to you as His child, and in that you can experience great joy.
You may be thinking, “I know that God loves me and wants to provide for me and give me good things, but is He really able to do all that He says He will do?” The simple answer to this question is a definite “Yes!” In fact, God is the only One that we can absolutely trust for all that He says He will do. If God has promised, He will deliver (2 Corinthians 1:20). His promises are as sure as His name, for His power is inescapable. Romans 1:20 speaks of His power as eternal, and Titus 1:20 reveals to us that His promises are sure – He cannot lie. With all power in His hands and the surety of His promises, He is a trustworthy God in whom we can fully trust.
Will you begin today to put off unbelief, to trust God for His provision and His power for your current and future needs? Jesus was clear: God is in control. He cares for His children, He knows their needs, and gives His grace freely. By His grace and the power of His might, you too can overcome the many temptations of fear and worry.