Why Worry Is Worthless
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” (Philippians 4:6-7, The Message)
“Don’t worry” may be the most difficult command in the Bible to keep. Every one of us has broken that commandment. We break that commandment all the time, because it's in our nature to worry.
Jesus said it like this: “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34 NIV). The reason why you mess up today is because you spend most of your emotional energy regretting the past and worrying about the future.
But worry has never changed anything. Worry is worthless! It can't change the past. It can't control the future. Worry can only make you unhappy today. Every moment of your life you spend worrying is wasted.
Worry is focusing on your fears instead of trusting God. It’s practical atheism. When you worry, you're acting like an orphan. You're acting like you don't have a heavenly Father who's promised to care for your needs. You’re thinking it's up to you to take care of your problems. That's not in the Bible -- that's in self-help books. And it's just not true.
If you're going to break that habit of worry in your life, you're going to have to learn how to focus on something else. Fasting -- where you abstain from something for a certain amount of time and let your need draw you closer to God -- can help you do that, and so can prayer.
The Bible says in Romans 8:6, “If people’s thinking is controlled by the sinful self, there is death. But if their thinking is controlled by the Spirit, there is life and peace” (NCV).
You have to choose your focus. If you’re going to think your way, you’re going to get worried, fearful, and anxious. You going to have anxiety because you’re controlled by your sinful nature. When you’re focused on God, and you have God's Spirit in you, you don't worry. That leads to life and peace.
The key to overcoming worry is not to say, “I'm not going to worry.” That’s never going to work, because you're focused on what you don't want.
The key is to change the channel. Don't resist it. Refocus. Put your focus on God, and trust in his love and promises for you.
Talk It Over
In what ways has worry affected you mentally, emotionally, and even physically?
What are some practical ways you can focus on God?
How does memorizing Scripture help you refocus on God throughout your day?
Premium Resource: Experience God's Power Through Prayer Guided Experience Book
This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.