What God Says About Worry

Written By: Scott Crosby


June 13, 2024

Here is a list of 10 common things people worry about:

▶️ Money
▶️ Career
▶️ Health and safety of loved ones
▶️ Relationship problems
▶️ Loneliness
▶️ Public speaking
▶️ Rejection
▶️ Death
▶️ World events and politics
▶️ Appearance and weight

The specific things that you may worry about tend to involve problems or risks to things you care about. Is there one from this list that your mind goes to in worry? On one hand, worry can be hard to avoid when you have loved ones and things you care deeply about while living in a fallen world. But what does God say about worry? And how can His words offer us comfort and guidance in the face of worry?

In one specific passage about worry, Matthew 6:25 and 31 tells us, “Do not be anxious, (or worry) about your life,” and again, in verse 34, “Do not be anxious about tomorrow.” Again, in Paul’s letter to the Philippians, in 4:6, he writes, “Do not be anxious about anything.” This echoes many other places in Scripture where God calls us not to worry.

If you struggle with worry, these verses may initially be discouraging. How can you tell me not to worry when there is so much brokenness in the world? How do I just stop worrying?

What surrounds these verses isn’t just God’s command not to worry; it is a source of hope for a society where anxiety and worry are on the rise. Not worrying doesn’t mean you never have an anxious thought of worry enter your mind. It means knowing why you worry and what to do when you start to worry about something.

Let’s start with what God says about why we worry. In Matthew 6:25, when we are told, “Do not be anxious about your life,” it starts with a connecting phrase, “Therefore I tell you.” This, therefore, points us back to the previous section of Matthew 6 in verses 19–24. Here, we see two reasons why we worry.

The first is in verses 19–21, where the Bible says, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.

The Gospel of Matthew reminds us that worry comes when we focus on treasure and seek after earthly treasures over treasures in heaven, seek after the temporary instead of the eternal, and treasure things of this world over God. This causes our hearts to trust in things that can come and go instead of a God who is eternal, faithful, and ever-present. God doesn’t say we shouldn’t care about things deeply; He tells us not to care about things and even people more than Him.

The second reason we worry is found in verse 24, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

This is the immediate verse that precedes the “Therefore, do not be anxious about your life.” We are told that when we preoccupy our minds with money or things of this world and ultimately serve those things over God, it will always lead to worry. We worry because we look at earthly things for satisfaction and security instead of Jesus, the only one who can truly satisfy. Only God offers eternal security and resurrection on the other side of anything negative that can happen in life.

Knowing this leads us to three ways God tells us to combat worry:
1️⃣ To think.
2️⃣ To consider.
3️⃣ To put your mind on God and think about who He is, what He is doing, and what He has done.

The chapter continues in verse 26, “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” In verse 28, “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more cloth you, O you of little faith?”

We are told to consider nature and how God provides and sustains it. To think about how God is moving all around us. As you think about God, as you spend time with him, and consider all that He has done in creation, especially sending Jesus to live, die, rise, and return for you, it obliterates the worry you hold. First, you stop thinking about the thing you are worrying about, and second, you think about God, who holds the thing you are worrying about.

Secondly, we combat worry with prayer. I have heard it said you can either worry or you can pray. And this is the sentiment in Philippians after we are told not to be anxious, we are told, “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” When we are faced with anxiety and worry, talk to God about it. God cares about the things you care about because He cares about you! And in His wisdom, He knows what is best for you and your relationship with Him. He desires that we rely on Him and nothing else in life, and prayer connects us to God and helps us in whatever we are facing — facing it with a loving God who is with us through the work of Christ and His Spirit alive in all who know Him.

And thirdly, the way we combat worry is to be thankful. With thanksgiving, let your requests be known. As you thank God for what you have, it changes your focus from worrying about pain, loss, or uncertainty to a God of life, providence, and love who “gives you everything you need for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory” [2 Peter 1:3].

As we face worry in the uncertainties of this life, let us turn to God and what He says about it to help us combat it and receive and remember the true certainty of peace we have with Him through Christ.