Often times we as Christians have different tiers of sins. The top tier would be those really bad sins such as murder, illicit drugs, homosexuality, etc. Then we work our way down to sins that we very well may admit to each other that we commit on a regular basis. Probably one of the most common of this type of sins would be worry. While we likely would never admit to another believer that we were really angry, lustful or covetous, how many times have we said something along the lines of how worried we were about something?
Philippians 4:6 is a very familiar verse: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Be careful for nothing. In other words, be full of care, i.e worry, about nothing. Not a few things. Not things that are really big or life-threatening. No, don’t worry about anything.
Now we certainly understand that it is only natural to have an immediate “oh no!” response to the threat of bad news. For example, if someone hears of lay-offs that will be starting next week at work, there aren’t too many people that will greet that news with a sigh and attitude of in deference. However, when that threat turns into something that keeps one up at night, penetrates their thoughts continually and dictates their attitude, more than likely it has crossed the line into worry.
Bible teacher John MacArthur lists several things true of a worrier that helps us to understand why it is sinful. Here is his list: a worrier strikes out at God, disbelieves Scripture, is mastered by circumstances and distrusts God. If I am engaged in worry over a particular situation, I am essentially saying in that instance that either God is not in control of the circumstances of my life or, if He is, He can not be trusted to know what’s best for me.
The second part of this verse shows us the proper remedy for worry: prayer. If I go to God about my situation, I am reminding myself that God IS in control of my circumstance and he does know what’s best for me. I can go to him in prayer, ask for His will to be done and leave it there. I Peter 5:7 says it this way, “Casting all of your care upon Him, for He careth for you.” So the next time you find yourself worrying about something, stop, remember these verses, give the situation to the Lord in prayer and enjoy the peace that comes from knowing that both we and our situation is in the hands of our loving Heavenly Father.