do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:6-7 ESV)
Earlier in this letter Paul commended Timothy for his concern of the Philippians [Philippians 2:20]. The Greek word for “concern” in that verse is the same Greek word translated “anxious” in this verse. Likewise, in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus also told us not to worry [Matthew 6:25-34] using this same Greek word. Concern for others is good. But we are not to be overly concerned “about anything”.
Notice that this is a command. It is not optional. Since it is a command we can conclude that worry is sin.
Worry is sin because when we worry we are taking matters into our own hands and not trusting that God cares enough, or is able to, or is willing to, handle our problems. But this is not true.
God cares about us and wants to take care of us. In fact, for this very reason we are commanded to cast our cares upon Him [1 Peter 5:7; Psalms 55:22, 68:19]. We simply aren’t equipped to deal with them [Proverbs 3:5-6].
Just like a human parent, God does not want His children to worry. He wants us to let go of our problems and trust Him to resolve them.
When we trust God and His endless qualities – His omniscience, His omnipotence, and His endless love for us – we can relax [John 14:1]. Science shows that worry is damaging to our health. God tells us the very same thing [Psalm 37:8].
Not only can worry affect our physical and mental health, but it can affect our productivity – keeping us stuck in one place for too long. It can also reduce the amount of enjoyment we have in life. Having joy is one of the themes in this letter to the Philippians. God wants us to be joyful. He doesn’t want us to worry.
Maybe worst of all, when we worry we are apt to take matters into our own hands rather than let God deal with them. If done repeatedly this can distance someone from God which is never a good place to be.
Its fine to recognize problems in our life and in our world. But we should never become distraught over them, which will happen if we compare our problems to our own limited ability to deal with them.
Nothing is too difficult for God [Jeremiah 32:27]. God is completely sovereign. There is nothing in this universe that can defeat Him. There is no problem He can’t resolve. He can deal with any mess we create and, not only that, He can turn any seemingly dead-end into good [Romans 8:28].
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