Choking on worry

“Worry gives a small thing a big shadow.”—Swedish Proverb

**(As always, please, if you are experiencing an anxiety disorder, or any other mental illness or issue, please seek trusted, professional medical care. ICDevos understands that mental health issues are real and may require additional medical support, treatment and/or counseling.)

It is said that at least one in four of us, that’s over 65 million Americans, will experience anxiety disorder some time in our life. One in four! That’s a whole lot of anxious people filled with fear, worry, doubt and distress. And the other three might not have a panic attack, but you can rest assured they are worriers.

Do your “What ifs” control your life? Are you scared of every shadow, every possibility and every sense of dread known to man? Do you get up with worry, carry worry all day long and, since it’s been with you for the majority of the day, do you decide to just take it to bed with you again every night?

Did you know the Old English origin of the word worry meant to strangle? Even to wring, annoy, bother and vex were some of the earliest versions of the word. And in 1804, it was defined as anxiety arising from cares and troubles.

Worry can choke the life right out of a Christian, leaving them crippled with fear and anxiety.

Is worrying a sin? The Bible doesn’t come right out and specifically say so but if we search scripture we will find that worrying is a clear indication that we are not trusting God with our problems. Then, we allow Satan a foothold into our world, and our trust in God grows weaker and weaker.

“Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” Psalm 55:22

Jesus tells us in the Sermon on the Mount not to worry.

“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 important than food, and the body more important than clothes?” Matthew 6:25

So, to continue to allow worry and anxiety to dominate our everyday life is surely a lack of trust and confidence in the One who created us with purpose in the first place!

Isn’t it amazing as a child of God that we can believe He is able to save us, gave His life for us, redeem us and will come back to take us to our eternal home but we can’t find enough trust and faith in Him to carry us through the day?

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

1 Peter 5:6-8

Peter tells us to let God handle our problems because He cares. But looking at the rest of the verse, isn’t he saying that, if we worry, we are fair game for the enemy? If we allow worry and anxiety to be a regular part of our diet, the enemy has gained a foothold into our minds, and little by little, he will gain more control until we are easily devoured and deceived.

Controlled by your circumstances or casting your care?

How will you choose to live out your life? With worry and dread, consumed with what might happen and what could happen? Would it not be much easier, less stressful even, to give those worries to a God that never slumbers or sleeps? He invites you to surrender and let Him handle the issues that keep you awake at night. When we learn to hand them over to Him, and realize we have no control over them anyway, we can rest in peace that all is well. He sees down the road and has our best interest in mind!

Remember that worry is a lack of faith and trust in God. If you do not trust God then you do not KNOW your God!

Spend time in His Word every day, take the time to pray and get to know Jesus, who gave His life for you and promises you eternal life.

And if you can trust Him with your eternity, isn’t it safe to say He can handle what you face today?

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22, 23 ESV.

nannette elkins

Nannette has served in various ministry positions over the last 30 years, most recently as a pastor’s wife and missionary to Eastern Europe serving in the countries of Estonia and Latvia. Wife to The Sweetheart, Mom to the Fantastic Five, Nana to Lark and Norah, Author of The Daniel Fast, A Devotional. UPCI ministers, and NA Directors of RevivalByDesign. She travels with her husband, teaching churches a Bible-based blueprint of revival, Revival By Design. (rbdna.org) Nannette blogs at HopeintheHealing.com, is the curriculum editor for rbdna.org and devours anything with coffee in the title.

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