Trust or Worry: Which will Win?

Perhaps the best known Bible verse about trusting God is found in Proverbs 3:5. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” Eugene Peterson rendered that verse, “Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own.” The anxious person tries to figure it out on his own, and he knows he doesn’t have the resources. This is especially evident when we worry about others. Our relationships with our family members is a good example. Parents are prone to worry about their children’s future. A sister worries about her brother’s drug addiction. A middle-aged woman worries about her aging parents’ failing health. When we deal with others’ choices, the outcome is outside of our control because their will is their own. We cannot make them want what they don’t want for themselves. We can instruct and discipline our children. We can grieve over our siblings’ destructive choices. We can lovingly share our concerns with our parents. But in all of these relationships, we cannot ultimately control their will. It is outside the realm of our ability; their future is outside of our field of vision. So we worry. To ultimately gain victory over this type of anxiety, you will need to acknowledge that your resources are limited and trust in the one whose resources are not.

Most of us only trust those with whom we have a meaningful relationship. For instance, if I was looking for someone to hold $1,000 for me while I went away, I would be most confident in the person I knew the best. My ability to trust you (or not) is clearly tied to my knowledge of you, to how well I know your character, intentions, and purposes. It’s the same way in our relationship with God. If you are not growing in your knowledge of him who saved you, you will struggle to trust him, and you will succumb again to those feelings of anxiety.

A friend of our family is fond of saying, ‘If you don’t see God as good and loving, you will not be comforted by his sovereignty.” Just because the Bible declares that God is in control doesn’t mean that I’ll trust him. Jesus understood this. He found comfort in trusting his heavenly Father with his future because he had grown in his understanding of his Father’s love. If you do not do the same, you will struggle to trust God with the things you value the most. You will attempt to guard them yourself, and in so doing the habit of worrying will return. Trusting God is essential to overcoming worry, and knowing God well is the prerequisite to trusting him completely.

Taken from Safe in the Storm: biblical strategies for overcoming anxiety


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