It happens all too frequently. I sing praises to God on Sunday morning and wake early on Monday morning beset by worry.
The cause might be my growing to-do list. Or circumstances outside my control. It could be due to loss and grief. Actually, the reason is less important than my response.
It comes in the form of a thought life that constantly imagines the worst possible outcome for any situation. I might worry about health, finances, relationships, safety or any of a hundred other topics.
When I find myself worrying, it means several things.
First, I’m depending on myself. Specifically, I’ve fallen into the trap of thinking that outcomes are dependent on my own ability.
Being consumed by worry also takes me out of the present. Instead of enjoying today, I’m too busy obsessing about tomorrow.
And depending on myself means I’m not trusting God. Worry means I believe the lie that God is not working for my ultimate good and His eternal glory.
Antidote to Worry
The antidote to worry is to remember whom we belong to.
And that leads to understanding what salvation in Christ really means. Our salvation has three components:
At the moment we trust Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior God declares us justified in His sight (Rom. 5:1). Justification means we have a right standing before God. His wrath is no longer directed toward our sin, for Jesus “drank” the full cup of God’s wrath against sin when He died on the cross for us.
So I have no need to worry about the past. As a Christian, my past has been covered by the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
But God did not stop at addressing our past. He also addresses our present. Every committed believer in Jesus Christ has the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit (2 Thess. 2:13). The Holy Spirit does the work of sanctification in our life—a lifelong process of becoming what God has declared us to be: righteous!
So I have no need to worry about the present. God is at work in my life to make me more like His Son. And He will use every situation in my life toward that end.
Finally, we look forward to an amazing future. At the moment a Christian dies, he or she is immediately in the presence of God. As the apostle Paul said, “To live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21, NIV). Our glorification includes having glorified bodies, free from even the temptation of sin.
Understanding the full breadth of our salvation reminds us God is in control, so there’s nothing to worry about. Whatever happens in this life is both temporary and will be used by our heavenly Father for our good and His glory.
Kick worry to the door, and replace it with trust in the Lord who has us covered: past, present and future!