Do you worry? Does anxiety get the better of you at times? Different people have different things they worry about. (Think for just a moment... Did you pinpoint your worry issue?)
Question: What do you believe about "you" when you worry? This summer, a group of 100 adults were asked this question. The following are their top 4 answers:
- I worry because I'm not in control of a situation; maybe even things are out of control.
- I worry believing that doing so will somehow help.
- I worry believing that if I put enough focus & energy on the problem I will come up with an idea.
- I ultimately worry because I'm fearful. My value as a person is in danger and I'm anxious about that.
Question: What do you believe about "God" - even subconsciously - when you worry? The same 100 adults answered as follows:
- I worry because I actually believe that God is not in control of my situation.
- I worry because I don't believe God has a plan to work things out positively.
- I worry believing that if God is in control and God does have a plan, God must not care about me in my situation.
- I worry because I don't really believe that God is the One who gives me my true value.
These are honest answers. These are also root answers.
And the reality is that "root produces fruit." The fruit of a tree is never inconsistent with it's root. The fruit of Worry will grow when the root of belief is as listed above.
The issue is one of truth. Are the above beliefs about God.. "true truths" about God or "false truths" about God? The answer is found in the gospel of Jesus; the good news about God's Son. And the gospel of Jesus is always rooted in the cross of Jesus. So let's explore the truth found in the gospel.
- Is God in control? Yes. Even in the darkest moments of the cross, God was saying: "I've got this. Although it appears that Jesus has been defeated and all is lost, I am in control." But Jesus dies... And then God raises Jesus to life again!! God is always... in control.
- Does God have a plan? Yes. God never does not have a plan. History always proves that God has a plan. God had a plan through the cross and God has a plan through your circumstances.
- Does God care for us in our crisis situation? Yes. God loves us. God gave His one and only Son to prove how much God loves us and cares for us.
- Does God give us our value? Yes. God placed the "price tag" in us when God gave His only Son to die for you and for me. God loves us.
There is a wonderful concept that Jesus talked about: "repentance." We mostly misunderstand it when we repent and we say "I am sorry for my actions, my behaviour." Worry is behaviour and it is fruit. We might say or sing: "Don't worry; be happy." And it even sounds like repentance, but it's not. The root of belief is the same therefore the fruit of worry will continue to grow.
But the repentance Jesus talked about was repenting of our belief. There is something false about God I am believing and that is what needs to change. In 1 Thessalonians 1:8-9 it says: "Your faith in God has become known everywhere... how you turned to God from idols." Repentance is that: turning to the true God from a false God.
So, what will change the fruit of Worry to the fruit of Peace? New beliefs about God and about what God says about you.
- God I repent of believing You are not in control and that I need to be. You are in control and I can rest in You.
- God I repent of believing that You don't have a plan so I need to come up with one. You have a plan and I will wait for You.
- God I repent of believing that You don't care for me in this situation or others like it, so I hold onto fear about my value. You love me and place value on me through the cross of Your Son. I will hold onto that.
The result? The gospel changes the fruit of Worry to the fruit of Peace because the root of belief is in the solid truth contained in the gospel of Jesus.
May you and I live in this life-giving and freedom-producing reality!