Many of us have become experts in worrying. That’s one of the things our old sinful self is capable of doing. Although we know that there are many variables in this life and we are not in control of every situation, yet oftentimes we fret. We even pretend at times to have the power to make things happen. So when circumstances go awry and against us, we become anxious and restless.
Unsurprisingly, worry could lead to another sin. It could cause rage and bitterness inside us. It could also breed unkind words, even hatred, toward other people. And worse still, it could result in unbelief, doubting God’s sovereignty over all things and His goodness even in hardship.
Our Lord Jesus warned His disciples of the foolishness of anxiety. “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (Matt. 6:27). Worry is a sign of lack of faith in the One who alone has power over all things and is able to sustain and provide for us (cf. Matt. 6:30).
For us, believers, worrying is unbecoming. We have been redeemed by God from the dark pit of death and despair. He has rescued us from the powers of sin and hell and brought us into His glorious kingdom. He has forgiven us already of all our sins and He cleanses us from all our unrighteousness. He promised to provide for our every need as we live in obedience to His will, seeking His kingdom first and not our selfish gain.
And He did all of these out of His grace, not because of anything good we have done. How can we doubt God’s goodness and love then when He has already given us His Son who died for us and has redeemed us from all our sins with His precious blood? “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32).
Worry then is but a natural response by our sinful self to an unfavorable situation. But we are no longer under our old master, i.e., sin. We are now in Christ. So we put to death everything that belongs to our old earthly and Adamic nature. Then we put on our new nature in Christ, one that is capable of trusting God. Instead of manipulating or getting even or angry at people, we learn to depend on God in every circumstance.
Here’s what one Bible scholar writes when it comes to responding to pressures and trials in life: “When pressures come on the Christian the proper response is not anxiety, for that comes out of a belief that one must take care of oneself and a lack of trust in God. It is rather a trusting commitment to God (prayer expressing this, as Paul states explicitly on Phil. 4:6) in the assurance that God indeed cares and that his caring does not lack the power or the will to do the very best for his own” (Peter H. Davids, “1 Peter,” NICNT, 188).