What does the Bible say about worry? It actually says plenty, but here are a couple of quick thoughts. In wrapping up this study of Jesus’ questions, I noticed John 21:22 where He answers Peter’s pointed question concerning John:
“If I want him [John] to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow Me.” John 21:22 NIV
Basically, Jesus tells Peter, “Don’t worry about it, stay focused.” Then later He answers a question about the Kingdom in a similar fashion:
“It is not for you to know the times or seasons which the Father has put in his own authority.” Acts 1:7 NKJV
These statements, along with the “do not worry” section of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:25-34 paint a picture of how we should view worry.
I. It’s not of God
Jesus specifically tells us not to worry (actually several times). The tough part is acting on that truth. If you’re like me, you can’t just flip a switch, and never worry again, but Paul helps us out. In Philippians 4:6, we see:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
So instead of focusing on the circumstances, be proactive:
- Pray through the many things you’re thankful for
- Honestly discuss with God your anxieties (He already knows anyway)
- Ask for His help with your thought pattern and not just the situation
Once this mode of prayer is set in motion, verse 7 promises “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart and mind.” That’s a great trade. We give Him our worry and He gives us peace!
II. Narrow Your Focus
In the John passage, we see Peter distracted by questions regarding John, which illustrates a frequent source of our worries. We look around and begin the process of drawing conclusions from comparing our life to others. It’s not within my power to make life “fair”, and making a list of inequities only fuels more of the same. Think about it, how many things in life do we REALLY control?
Webster describes control this way: 1. to regulate 2. to exercise authority over
Even those of us with children, students, or employees under our “authority” only have a limited amount of control. Only God maintains ultimate authority. So as a follower of Christ, here are two things I take away from these verses:
- I need to quit trying to look over God’s shoulder – Even if I could see what He’s looking at, I probably wouldn’t understand the language or diagrams anyway! He has reserved certain work for Himself and assigned certain work to me.
- I need to relax – Acts 1:8 speaks of the gospel being carried around the world, but it completely hinges on the power of the Holy Spirit. The same is true in my daily walk. I must rely on the Holy Spirit’s lead and remember Jesus’ words:
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27
Series: “The Questions of Jesus” – Conclusion