Here are 5 Biblical truths/texts that have helped me in my own battle in this area:
“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
In this familiar passage where Jesus calls us to “be anxious for nothing,” the fundamental issue is whether we will assert our own autonomy and make ourselves king or whether we will submit to Jesus’ kingdom. “Seeking first the kingdom of God” often seems like a vague theory that only the spiritual-elite know how to pursue. But, here we find Jesus telling us what this looks like. It is a recognition that even in our most basic needs (food, drink, clothing), we cannot find independence (vs. 31). It is an acknowledgment that we can’t add any time (vs 27) to our life through worry (in fact, we will probably only shorten it with anxiety). It is an admission that we have no idea what will happen tomorrow (vs 34). It is submitting to Jesus’ Sovereign Kingship over the most basic details of life. Anything else is kingdom treason on our part.
God is generous: It is His pleasure to provide. (Luke 12:32-34)
“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
What?! This kingdom that belongs to God, He will now give to us? Yes, the very kingdom we want to overthrow is there for us as a gift from the Good Shepherd. Not only is Jesus King, he is also only good and generous to His sheep.
What this means for us is that we are freed up for generosity. “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy….” We can be generous and don’t have to fear the insecurity of giving away resources because God has been so generous to us to give us all things good—His very kingdom! And where we put our treasures communicates what we value (“where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”)- either our own faux, selfish kingdom or the free, Savior’s kingdom-- there for our taking.
God has the power: Petition God, not yourself. (Philippians 4:6)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
In a real sense, worry is self-petition. We are imploring our own mental capacities, physical competencies, and emotional band-width to overcome a situation. Yet, only God has the knowledge, strength, and compassion to handle and manage the situation. Take the request to Him. Stop talking to yourself about it.
God is reliable: You will fail; God can’t. (James 1:17)
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”
The Sovereign Creator of the heavenly lights is not only good in all His gifts to us, He is also utterly reliable and faithful. Unlike those heavenly lights, which He created, there is no shifting or variation or changing in His ways. He will not and cannot fail. He is not simply sovereign and good. He is faithful, which means He cannot stop being sovereign and good. We also, like those heavenly lights, are shifting and changing and prone to failure. We will fail, but God can’t.
God is compassionate: He cares even more than you do. (1 Peter 5:6-11)
“Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
Stop and think about all the energy involved with worry. Think about all the effort physically, emotionally, and spiritually involved in the task of worry. It’s draining. It’s depleting.
Now, have you ever stopped to think that God cares about that thing even more than you do? Seriously. He does. He has more energy involved than you do; but conversely, He has the capacity to handle it and the answers to solve it. Throw all your anxieties on the Savior. In reality, He is anxious for you!