So, again, I think the subject for this post is worry… and trust. It’s the subject I feel God wants me to write about again, and it’s definitely one I need to grow in!
Do you ever catch yourself fretting about something you’re already committed to God through Jesus?
Over and over again?
And do you ever think that worry isn’t that big a deal, really?
The other day, I was spending time with the Lord, seeking Him about some things I was, yes, worried about. And He encouraged and comforted me. I could sense Him so gently encouraging me. It was so tender: as if He was saying, “Let go of your fear, Caroline. You can let go of your fear.” … and I kept fretting.
And then I felt Him, very gently and tenderly, encouraging me. It was so encouraging that it wasn’t really a rebuke… but I knew it was what I needed to hear. The sense of it was something like this: “Stop fretting, Caroline! You have given it to Me… over and over again. I know about it and I’m taking care of it! Just relax! You will see My answer soon!”
It was bang on. It was right. I had given my worries to Him. Now all I needed to do was stop fretting, and trust (and even praise Him for the answers that are on their way!).
And I, as I prayed into it, I felt Him showing me how often I fret about things. I allow anxious thoughts into my mind, and I play with them and try to solve them, when I’ve already given them to the Lord, and He’s already encouraged me that He’s taking care of them. And I felt Him encouraging me that this way of thinking needs to change. Yes, He is gracious. Yes, He still loves me when I worry! But I can change, and I need to if I want to achieve all the things God wants to do through my life and ministry. Worry will hamper my ministry and steal my faith in the Lord. Because God responds and does amazing things in answer to faith.
And fear chokes out faith.
Worry will hold back things that God wants to do in answer to faith in Him through Jesus, because it will choke out the faith. If I let Him change me, faith will rise up in new, wonderful ways, and He will do much more than I ever thought possible in answer to the faith that is left after the worry has begun to fall away.
Worry is not an innocent, harmless habit. Not only does it weaken us (and could even make us ill), but it chokes out the faith that God wants to use to do amazing things in and through our lives, when we come to Him through Jesus.
God led me recently to a sermon about how Satan wants to use fear and anxiety in our lives. It was a powerful message. I knew it would be- my computer kept refusing to play it, and so did my phone! So I guessed the enemy didn’t want me to listen to it! And I was right about that, I think. It was really helpful. Satan will try to get into our lives and hold us back in various ways. And one of those is worry and fear. It’s pretty subtle, too- worry doesn’t even feel like sin, and it seems so innocent! But the enemy can really use it to hold us back and keep us down, holding us back from what God wants to do in and through our lives. You can hear the message here:
Because what children of God through Jesus really need to do is to stand in faith on God’s promises: to commit our worries to God, and believe that He will act in the best way and at the best time- as we trust in Him.
‘Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.’ Psalm 37:5
But how can we stand in faith on God’s promises if we are letting anxiety take our faith?
The battle with worry is really a battle for faith in God.
And we are called to fight that battle in our minds.
‘casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,’ 2 Corinthians 10:5
It won’t feel good to break the thought patterns. I guess it will be a healing process, over time. But I think the Lord is encouraging me that the process will be beautiful: like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon. As less fear is there, in the silence that remains in my mind, faith will rise up. And He will answer that faith in very beautiful, powerful ways.
My friend was wearing a t-shirt the other day: “Dream Big!” You know, if we’re following Jesus, there’s no reason not to dream big! There is no limit to what God can do in answer to the prayer of faith! All things are possible with Him! Sure, it may not look like what we expect. It means surrendering to His way. It may take a while. It may be unexpected. But that will be because He’s doing more, not less. If we let go of our fears and trust Him, I think He will amaze us by what He does!
As He says,
‘”Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.”‘ Psalm 81:10b
And worry will only limit that faith; limit the beautiful, amazing things God wants to do through our faith.
So, yes, it’s time to let go of the worries… Over and over again, if necessary!
Because we really can cast our cares on Him.
“casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
It’s as if He is reassuring me, “You can let go, Caroline. You can let go. I’ve got you safe.”
If you’re following Jesus, He’s got you safe, too. And you can let go too!
(When you know Jesus as Saviour and are following Him as Lord, there really is nothing to worry about because you are His. But that pre-condition is really important, because we all have a big problem: our sin and the coming judgement. That’s why Jesus came, died on the cross and rose again. And He offers forgiveness and new life to all who will receive His forgiveness, turn from wrong and surrender to Him as Lord of their lives. When you have done that and are following Him, you can know that He will take care of you… now and forever.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.