Worry is a huge topic. I’ve spoken about it many times in this segment because it’s so common. Some people handle it better than others.
Some are chronic worriers—and it’s a difficult condition to diagnose—and that interferes with their daily lives. Some people I know find it helpful to have a 30-minute period of each day just to worry. They have a scheduled time to worry, and I think that’s a pretty good idea. But it doesn’t stop you feeling overwhelmed and worrying so much you can’t see daylight.
It seems anxiety disorders are very common today. With technology the way it is now, we can receive bad news from anywhere in the world, which can add to our worries.
Top-Ten Worries Countdown
If you are like most people, you are probably worried about your weight. That might not be at the top of your list but, according to a survey by Benenden Health in the UK, that’s the # 1 concern for most people. Here are the Top-Ten Worries (counting down from #10 to #1) according to their survey:
9. Job security
8. Rent/mortgage payment
7. Credit card debt
6. Low energy level
5. Overdrafts and loans
4. Overall fitness
3. Lack of savings/financial future
2. Growing old
Being overweight is the #1 worry. Maybe it’s based on what others may think of us if we are overweight.
Have you ever wondered how much time you spend worrying? It’s probably more than you think. The same survey asked people how much time they spend worrying. Here’s what they found out:
Each week, we spend 14.31 hours worrying. That equals 744 hours of worry each year, which in turn is equivalent to 45,243 hours of worry over a lifetime. That equals 1885 days in a lifetime spent doing nothing but worrying, which means that we spend 5.2 years of life captured by worry:
- No wonder we have trouble sleeping.
- No wonder we feel under so much pressure.
- No wonder we find it hard to concentrate.
What Is Worry?
Let me give you a simple definition of the word worry. Worry is excessive concern over the affairs of life. The key obviously is the word excessive. Worry happens when you are so concerned about the problems of life that you can think of nothing else. It is an all-consuming feeling of uncertainty and fear. Seen in that light, most of us worry a lot more than we would like to admit.
Here is God’s answer to our worries, stated in one verse tucked away near the end of Peter’s first epistle in the Bible’s New Testament: “Casting all your cares on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). God intends that you not be strangled by worry. He has done everything necessary for you to trust him; he has said Give me your problems.
First Peter 5:7 says we are to ‘cast’ our cares on the Lord. The word cast means to throw off with vigour. It’s the picture of a hiker at the end of a long day unhooking his pack and tossing it down. That’s what you are to do with your anxieties. By an act of the will, you are to unload all your worries on the Lord.
Said in two words, we are to release anxiety. Let it go—give it to Jesus. And here is the heart of biblical Christianity: God cares for me. He proved it by sending his own Son to die for me. The issue was settled for all time at the cross. A God who would sacrifice his own Son for a person like me must care for me. There’s no other reason he would do such a thing.
God Cares For Us
When we come to God, we don’t have to convince him to hear us. We don’t have to chant or shout or burn incense or ring bells—we come as his children and gladly he hears us. We don’t do anything to make God care for us. We start from the assurance, rooted in history, that God cares for us. And on that basis we can unload all our worries on him:
- He loves us.
- He made us.
- He came for us.
- He died for us.
- He rose for us.
- He will come again for us.
In a summary:
- Don’t worry about tomorrow because God is already there. He is the God who goes before his people.
- God promises to be with you no matter what happens to you tomorrow and the day after tomorrow and all the days after that.
- You can live without fear because God has you on his heart at this very moment. He will not forget you, indeed, he cannot forget you.
2017 Keep Believing Ministries
Sermon by Ray Pritchard.