Why We Don’t Need to Be Anxious and Worry

Worry is the product of high stakes and low control, coupled with expecting the worst. There’s no greater enemy of happiness.

There’s a subtle aspect to worry: if we care, we think we should worry, as if that will help somehow. In fact, worry has absolutely no redemptive value. When good things are happening, we’re worried that bad things will come. When bad things happen, we worry that worse things will come.

Jesus asked, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” (Luke 12:25, NIV). Nothing is more impotent than worry, and nothing so robs us of happiness in Christ.

Just after instructing us to rejoice in the Lord, Paul writes in Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything.” Worry is a killjoy. It specializes in worst-case scenarios—in contrast, God tells His children there is much that should make us rejoice:

  • He has already rescued us from the worst, which is eternal Hell.
  • Even if something terrible happens, He’ll use it for our eternal good.
  • Often bad things don’t happen, and our worry proves groundless.
  • Whether or not bad things happen, our worry generates no positive change.
  • The cause for all our worries—sin and the Curse—is temporary, and will soon be behind us. Forever.

My son-in-law Dan Stump, married to my daughter Angela, is a junior high math teacher in Portland. Angie is director of women’s ministry at their church, Gresham Bible Church. GBC is a great church, where Vergil Brown is the lead pastor. Dan Stump sometimes preaches there on Sunday mornings. (So I have two sons-in-law, both named Dan and both excellent Bible teachers. I recently featured Dan Franklin’s podcast on “The Problem with ‘Speak Your Truth’” on my blog.)

A few weeks ago Dan Stump preached one of the best messages on worry I’ve ever heard. I highly recommend you listen to it.

Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries