Why do I worry?

Everyone has concerns. Relationships, money, health, and other things constantly need our attention. It’s good to be diligent. But what happens when concern turns into replaying your fears, imagining the what-ifs, and dwelling on the worst possible outcome? When we move from concern to fear of the unknown, we’ve given in to anxiety.

The Bible tells us not to be anxious about anything (Philippians 4:6). Immediately, we want a loophole. But as we search the Bible, we see that even in the face of such scary things as death, violence, bad news, disaster, opposition, or poverty, God doesn’t want us to be afraid (see Psalm 23:4, Matthew 10:28, Psalm 112:7, Proverbs 1:33, Joshua 1:9, and Hebrews 13:5–6).

Instead, God wants us to cast our anxieties on Him. When anxiety creeps in, and it does for everyone, we either give in to it or we resist it by trusting God (Psalm 56:3). Our response is key.

We give in to anxiety with uncontrollable thoughts that are all about self or circumstances. Our problems are bigger than our God. We resist anxiety by rejecting what-ifs and taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Resisting anxiety and trusting God means moving quickly from our own limitations to God’s extraordinary power to deliver us (Psalm 34:4).

In different situations we’ll lean into different aspects of God’s character. Thinking about His faithfulness, power, love, wisdom, righteousness, mercy, and so much more, helps us have confidence in Him and face the future with hope instead of anxiety.

The longer we dwell on anxious thoughts before turning to God, the harder they will be to overcome.

As we ask for God’s help, thank Him, obey His commands, and hold on to His promises, God Himself guards our minds with His perfect peace that’s only found in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

Additional Resources

Philippians 4:6–8
2 Timothy 1:7
Romans 8:31–39
Anxiety (one-page PDF)