By Warren Olson
A few years ago, some members of our family were called to Africa to live as missionaries. They had two young children at the time, so you can imagine there was a good amount of concern in their hearts as they prepared to leave their home behind and step out into the unknown.
Questions swirled around in their minds… What if their kids got sick? What if they were attacked for being Christians? What if the ministry they went so far to accomplish failed?
Very often, the “what ifs” of life paralyze us. I know people personally who’ve been overwhelmed with fear and worry as they’ve pondered questions like…
What if my health fails?
What if my family abandons me?
What if I can’t pay my bills?
But in Christ, you don’t have to let the “what ifs” of life cripple you. Matthew chapter 6 records Jesus speaking to a crowd of people who lived in extremely uncertain days. Fear was part of their everyday lives. Would they have enough money to eat? To even clothe themselves?
So Jesus reassures them in verses 25-27…
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
Jesus is essentially saying, “I know it seems like there’s so much to worry about. But God takes care of the little things like birds—and He will take care of you because you are of much more value than they are. So stop being fearful and trust Him!”
The truth is worry and fear are rooted not so much in our circumstances, but in our lack of trust in God. I read a statistic not long ago that said when it comes to worry…
Worry and fear are rooted not so much in our circumstances, but in our lack of trust in God.
- 40% of the things we worry about never happen.
- 30% of our worries are about things we can’t change anyway.
- 12% of our worries are about criticisms from others that are mostly untrue.
- 10% of our worries are about our health, which only gets worse with stress.
- 8% of our worries are about real problems we’ll face and can do something about.
That means less than a tenth of our fears are about things we can actually change. The rest are not worth the time and energy it takes to worry!
Less than a tenth of our fears are about things we can actually change. The rest are not worth the time and energy it takes to worry!
After they returned from Africa, our family members told us the vast majority of the concerns they had before they left never even materialized. And even when challenges did come their way, God showed up and made it clear He was in control. Going through the challenges wasn’t nearly as hard as they’d imagined it would be!
No matter what your worries are today—your health, family, finances, or whatever—it’s important to remember that God is in control. So take your worries and cares to Him. Go to Him in prayer during your anxious moments, and find comfort in the promises of His Word.
Step out in faith, watch as He takes control of your life, and you’ll flourish in the face of fear!