Be Free from Worry
Freedom from worry is a reality, and the basis for such a state comes not from a prescription drug or from a cushioned life. God’s all-encompassing love secures your freedom and my freedom from worry.
Worrying is bad. It’s never healthy, so stop believing that. Stop with the excuse of defining yourself as a worrier. There is no place in Scripture that God defines you as a worrier in Christ. Warrior, yes. Worrier, no.
Worrying chokes the work of salvation in your life. Jesus told the parable of the sower and said the seed that fell among the thorns never had a chance to produce. He likened that seed to the truth of God’s Word falling upon a worrier’s heart and mind. Hashtag, unfruitful. You don’t want that final assessment upon your life, and neither do I. (See Matthew 13:1-23.)
In teaching the realities of the kingdom of God, Jesus told His hearers, “Do not worry” (Matthew 6:25). He emphasized the unproductive state of mind, not just once but five times. Repetition is the best teaching method, and this topic requires
highlighting pounding if we’re going to go forth in freedom.
So let’s pound this out!
The truth about your surrendered life is this: Nothing will be able to separate you “from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39). So, through your identity as a child of God, the assurance you have from the Father is because you have believed upon His Son, you are afforded presence, and not just any presence.
“If you love Me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever- the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:15-17).
So, we say with the psalmist, “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6). And this brings us to the point of discovering the root of worry. It’s easy to identify concerns that lead to worry; it’s harder digging out the root cause, namely, a fear of abandonment, failure, or death.
Think about it: why do you worry for your kids or your grandkids except that you believe they will fail or potentially will be unsafe and perhaps die? Why do you worry over relationships except that in the end you fear abandonment? And why do you worry over finances except that you know little income or poor financial management could lead to loss and failure? These are but a few examples of worry stemming from core fears common to man.
Here’s a truth that requires our full acknowledgement: We make many decisions based on fear. I wish I could say it ends there, but the ripple effect of maligned thinking produces messy results, and our lives get more complicated than necessary. Do you see why Jesus pounded the truth that in God’s kingdom there’s no room for worrying?
Consider the fear Peter confronted and responded to when Jesus was arrested. Keep in mind that Peter heard the Lord counsel them to have a sword for what they were about to encounter. After Jesus and the twelve finished the Passover meal, “He said to them, ‘But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: “And He was numbered with the transgressors”, and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in Me. Yes, what is written about Me is reaching its fulfillment'” (Luke 22:36-37). The disciples presented two swords which satisfied Jesus.
Following the meal, Jesus and the disciples went as usual to the Garden of Gethsemane. After He engaged the Father in an intense time of prayer, Jesus readied Himself for the betrayal that was to come. Peter also readied himself by wielding the sword upon one of the temple servants making Jesus’ arrest. Interestingly, Jesus told Peter, “Put your sword back in its place… for all who draw the sword will die by the sword” (Matthew 26:52).
So, which is it? Did the disciples need a sword or not need a sword? Did Jesus just contradict Himself? Hardly! He knew what was beyond the betrayal, arrest, and suffering. Jesus was hours from dying, and His death immediately would bring something the disciples had not experienced over the past few years of following Him- separation. Sure, we know it’s Friday but Sunday is coming, but the disciples did not have the Lord’s pending resurrection on their radar. In the two days of separation from their Lord, they would know fear. Their Master died; surely, they saw their own deaths as imminent. With Jesus absent, perhaps a sword or two present would warrant a greater sense of security.
Do you identity with the feeling of vulnerability that the disciples undoubtedly faced? Do you wonder if you and your family are truly safe? Do you fear having sufficient means to face tomorrow’s uncertainties? Do you worry that a state of abandonment will be the death of you? Do you have a white-knuckled grip on a sword or some material substance like a bank account? Are you gripping onto an ideal that because you successfully employed every resource money can buy that you are protected? Are you tight- fisted on some fountain of youth promise because you fear the results of age will leave you unattractive and unwanted?
Fear. Worry. How am I going to protect myself?
The disciples had two swords while holed up in a room fearing for their lives. But the point Jesus made in suggesting the swords is that He was about to be away from them. While He is with them, they are safe. Allow these words to wash over your soul:
While Jesus is with you, you are safe.
You see, in Gethsemane, at the time of His arrest, Jesus was with the disciples, so their self-protection was unnecessary. After Jesus reprimanded Peter for using the sword to harm a man, He said, “Do you not think that I can call on my Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53). We know that Jesus never would have disobeyed the Father and escaped fulfilling the needed salvation for sinful humanity, but the principle to grasp here is the supernatural protection that accompanies Him– twelve legions of angels can fill a Texas football stadium! We’re talking sixty to seventy thousand! Child of God, that’s an inconceivable throng of protection for all of us who are hidden in Christ! He is the God of the Angel Armies! When you have Jesus with you, you have all of heaven’s resources with you as well!
Why would I bring life to fears through worry? Why would I grasp onto meager resources when the reality of heaven is I am well defended in every situation? Jesus is with me, even better- in me! “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6).
You are not to live a life plagued by worry because you can put your confidence in God’s unfailing love. He takes care of you infinitely more than you could ever take care of yourself!
These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence (1 Corinthians 10:11-12, MSG).