Don’t Worry, Christians Don’t Worry?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

“Don’t worry, God won’t give you something you can’t handle,” said no Bible verse ever.  That’s right, that phrase isn’t found anywhere in scripture!  In fact, from my experience, the opposite is true – God regularly hands me situations that I can’t handle on my own.  Situations that I’m not ready for, too busy for, or otherwise just don’t want.  But God looks at me and says, “Get ready, I’m about to shape you! I’m about to give you something you can’t handle so you can learn to rely on me.”


So if God is willing and able to carry us during times of stress, does that mean that Christians don’t worry?  Scripture can sound like that sometimes – almost a “holier than thou” picture.  The truth is: it’s not that Christians don’t worry, it’s that worry has no power over a faithful Christian.

I awoke with chest pain…

Last week chest pain got between me and my sleep.  It was significant enough to wake me up at 1:30am and for me to call a friend to ask to bring me to emerge.  The five hour ordeal left me with more questions than answers.  The good news, I didn’t have a heart attack.  The bad news, the doctor explained, the pain could be caused by nearly anything else (stress, lungs, pulled muscle, diet, gas, and the list went on).  I wish I could say I avoided the “educational”, but my questions required anxious answers.  A couple days later, my trip to the family doctor led to an x-ray and yet another anxious result three days later – negative.  My doctor has now narrowed it down to a muscular issue, or acid re-flux.  So the journey continues, and so does the natural human emotion of anxiety.  Unfortunately, the “unknowns” seem to always outweigh the positive news.  But let’s face it, we’re human and anxiety is a natural feeling.

To avoid anxiety seems impossible. Scripture, however, makes it seem obvious – “…do not be anxious about anything…”i Is that even possible?  The minute we all experience the unknown, our natural tendency is to think about the “what if…”  We may not call it worry, but asking “what if…” is simply worrying about tomorrow’s outcome.

So as Christians, how do we respond to worry and anxiety?

Both Matthew and Luke record Jesus talking about anxiety (Matthew 6:25-34; Luke 12:22-34).  Here’s the message: you don’t have to worry about what you will eat, drink, wear, the condition of your body, or even how you will pay for tomorrow’s needs because: 1) worrying won’t change anything; and, 2) God provides for all his creation, so how much more will he provide for His children. So instead of worrying, seek the Kingdom of God, and all your needs will be provided.

The key to understanding this “peace of God” seems to be found in Matthew 6:33.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

I think we often misunderstand this verse. We are quick to ask God for help. But are we as quick to seek “the kingdom of God and his righteousness”? We are quick to ask God for help. But are we as quick to seek “the kingdom of God and his righteousness”? Click To TweetTruth be told, we probably pray for OUR WILL to be done long before we pray for GOD’S WILL to be done.  And yet Jesus told us to seek His Kingdom FIRST.

We probably read into the last part of this verse as well by interpreting “all these things” to mean whatever we are going through – be it our needs, wants, desires, or something else.  Jesus is telling us, to focus on His Kingdom and He’ll provide everything we NEED.

Paul put it this way when he wrote to Philippians:

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”ii

The “peace of God, which surpasses all understanding” is available to those who are abundantly Kingdom minded.  There is no promise that the feeling will NEVER happen.  The promise is that ANXIETY HAS NO POWER over the Christian who rejoices and puts their faith and work in Jesus and His Kingdom.

ANXIETY HAS NO POWER over the Christian who rejoices & puts their faith in Jesus & His Kingdom! Click To Tweet

Instead of anxiety ruling the situation, God takes these moments of being overwhelmed, and shapes us into who we need to be.  When we feel stressed, anxious, fearful, or otherwise overwhelmed, we have to remember that God wants us to grow through them and turn to Him for peace.

God has a purpose (even if we don’t see it) for every situation we find ourselves in.  James, at the beginning of his letter, said it this way:

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”iii

So when I face worry or anxiety…

I need to keep quoting three scriptures:

1. Matthew 6:33– “seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all [my needs] will be [provided].”

2. Philippians 4:6-7– “in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, [I can let my] requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard [my] heart and [my] mind in Christ Jesus.”

3. James 1:2-4– “the testing of [my] faith produces steadfastness… [so that I] may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

The feelings of anxiety will still come my way, but the power of anxiety is decreased when I increase my dependency on God and seek God’s Kingdom first.  Quoting scripture is a beautiful way to remind ourselves that this truth is indeed a reality.

If we seek the Kingdom FIRST, pray with THANKSGIVING, and remember each situation SHAPES us, anxiety has no power over a faithful Christian.


Your turn…

Have you ever experience anxiety? Have you experienced the peace of God? If not, put your faith in Jesus and the power of anxiety will lose steam!

[i] Philippians 4:6a (ESV).

[ii] Philippians 4:4-9.

[iii] James 1:2-4.

7 Reasons Why Sharing Our Faith Can Be Difficult

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Sharing our personal faith with someone seems to be one of the hardest things to do.  It was common for first century people to share stories with one another – they lived in an oral culture.  So, when something impacted them, talking to people was fairly natural.  Today, in the twenty-first century, there are so many factors that slow us down to share the truth that God has gifted us with.  The good news is, many of these factors start with us.  If we can overcome the things that slow us down, sharing our faith will become a lot easier.

I’ll be the first to admit, sharing my faith is difficult.  That said, God has appointed believers to be his witnesses.  Luke shows us how Jesus prepared his disciples, not just for their own journey, but also to spread the message to others.  Over the span of Luke’s writings, Jesus called his disciples, taught and mentored them, sent out the 12 disciples, sent out the 72, provided for them spiritually and physically, laid down his own life to full-fill the mission, resurrected, told his followers to wait until more helped arrived, and when the Holy Spirit came, the followers of Jesus were given power to be witnesses in “Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”[i]  The message of hope, love, joy, and peace was not only brought to some, but eventually to the “end of the earth,” and it was accomplished by God sending those who believed at witnesses of how God impacted them.

So why don’t we share our story with everyone we meet?  There are really no excuses, but I think there are several reasons.  Here are 7 reasons that I came up with:

1. It’s our personal life…

The impact of God isn’t superficial.  When we experience the freedom of accepting Christ as the Lord of our lives, he starts to encompass our entire being.  With that, comes personal transformation.  Because it’s often very personal, we tend to hide what God has done and keep it to ourselves and close family and friends.  While some things are personal in nature, we need to remember that others deal with personal issues as well.  God may need you to share your story of freedom with someone who is struggling.

2. We feel unworthy…

Good, we should.  We have received an unworthy and unwarranted gift of grace from God.  That should make us feel very humble and unworthy.  The amazing part of God’s sending plan, however, is that he asks us, the unworthy ones, to be his Church.  He wants those who have been impacted by his love to spread the message to others.  We need to stay humble and allow the Spirit to move through us.

3. We have too many questions ourselves…

Because our relationship with God requires faith, there will always be some unanswered questions.  God is beyond are understanding in many situations and there are many times when we have to trust in God to ease our mind. That said, let’s remember two things: (1) don’t stop thinking; and, (2) don’t let unanswered questions stop us.  God gave everyone a mind, so let’s use it.  As we think about God’s glory, we may indeed come to a better understanding which we can then share with others.  As we live, however, let’s not let unanswered questions stop us from sharing God’s plan with others!  The next life-changing theologian could be awaiting our witness.

4. We’re comfortable…

We’ve all experienced being new.  Whether it be new to the Christian faith, or new to an assembly.  At some point, however, the newness wears off and we become comfortable.  This doesn’t only stop us from sharing our faith, but also disregards the need to share our faith.  We need to remember that God made us new and desires for us to spread that message of hope.  If we remain comfortable, then the message will die with us.

5. We’re unsure of the outcome…

I think it’s safe to say, most of us have many friends, co-workers, and family who don’t have a relationship with Christ.  Most of us would also say, they’d love for them to start having a relationship with Christ.  What stops us from sharing our faith?  I think it’s partly because we’re afraid of the possible outcome.  It’s normal to think through how someone will react to our testimony; however, we need to make sure we rely on the Spirit to bring life to what we share.  Read Luke 12 to see how the Spirit helps us with the right words to say and provides the right resources that we need.

6. Religious freedoms…

In our culture today, people are free to worship, live and respond to any religion of their choosing.  Some Christians interpret this to mean other religions are more important than theirs.  This is not entirely true. Religious freedoms allow for everyone to choose their own religion.  There is nothing stopping a Christian from sharing their faith, as long as they don’t force an individual to participate.  In fact, religious freedoms actually allow for Christians to share their faith to anyone who will listen.  Let’s make Christianity a desired option to choose.

7. We forget to ask God for help…

Sharing our personal story is difficult, but we’re not alone.  God has partnered with us be his witnesses.  Let’s go back to Luke’s gospel.  In chapter 12, Jesus taught his followers that the Spirit will give you the right words to say when you defend your faith.  Jesus followed this up just before he returned to heaven.  He said to wait in Jerusalem until the power of the Spirit comes to help you to be “witnesses of these things.”[ii] In Acts, the Spirit empowered the believers and they continued to spread the message.  Today, the same power can help us.  The Father and Son are willing and able to equip us with the Spirit to give us boldness to speak and to live-out Christian lives as witnesses of the truth. Let’s not be afraid to ask for God’s help!

I’m sure at least one of these reasons have crossed your mind at some point.  While many of them have lasting impressions and are difficult to overcome, the ball is in our court.  With God’s help, we can overcome whatever is slowing us down from sharing our faith.

God has called us.  God has provided a way to help us.  Will we choose to be a witness?

Join the conversation…

Why do you think Christians find it difficult to share their faith?  How have you shared your faith?

[i] Luke 5, 6-8+, 9, 10, 12, 22-24, Acts 1:8, ESV.

[ii] Luke 24:48.