Wage War on Worry
- July 28, 2019
- Jared Odenbeck
What is worry? Worry is a deep-rooted, unsettling anxiety over the future, circumstances and their possible adverse outcomes, or angst over past decisions and their potential negative consequences.
Worry is a feeling that comes from one place. You believe that you and you alone have the right answers. You know how things should go or should have gone. And, we worry because we sense and feel the possibility of our future sliding away from our desired and idealized path.
Worry comes from the perception of our lack of control. We worry because we realize that we cannot influence our future directly to the degree that we wish and hope for. Worry may also rise from anticipated disappointment and rejection that may come in the future. But again, what is this? It is this voice inside of us that constantly bemoans our lot and believes that we deserve for our every wish and desire to come true.
This is pride. Pride says, “I know.” Pride says, “I deserve.” Pride says, “I am great, so I have merit and value.” Pride says, “Either I get my way or all is wrong.” What is at the bottom of this? We want to be God.
We think we could do a better job than the person in power. We think we know the way in which the universe ought to be governed and ordered. And what is this?
This is envy. And envy links with pride. Why? Because envy only envies what pride believes it deserves, or may do better. And so, we are envious of God’s authority and sovereignty. And we impose our own ideas regarding moral goodness – including a faulty perception of our own morality – onto our understanding of him and his goodness. We are envious of those in positions of power over us, because we view our own performance with greater regard and esteem.
And so, what is the way out? We are prideful and we are envious. And because we are prideful and envious, we worry. Worry, then, is just a symptom of deeper issues.
And, worry only plagues those whose beliefs lead them to think that they have ultimate control over their future, yet find themselves powerless, or, they lack a trust in the one who holds their future. And, ironically, pride and envy are solved in the same fashion.
We will wage war on worry when we lay down our appetite for control after we taste the goodness and wisdom of his sovereignty. We will trust him and believe him, when we acknowledge that he “works all things according to the counsel of his will,” and we know that his will towards us is only for good.
We will uproot pride from the depths of our hearts when we realize that he took everything we truly deserve and laid it upon himself on the cross. He took our unloveliness and loved us. He has given us all that we will ever need. He has accepted us and called us lovely and worthy and wonderful. Even more, he welcomes us. Everything that we have finds it’s place in him.
We will conquer the grip of envy when we know that the LORD is over promotion and exaltation (Psalm 75:6-7). We will discover that our desires for glory and greatness fade in the light of the work he has done for us on the cross, where he exchanged our ugliness for an incomparable glory that will be revealed in us (Romans 8:18). We will find that we no longer feel slighted, overlook, and passed over when he did not pass over us, but looked upon us with love and joy (Hebrews 12:2) and has lifted us up to rise in glory with him (2 Corinthians 4:14) and share in his inheritance (1 Peter 1:4).