Every year we resolve ourselves to accomplish some feat. It’s a gym membership, a diet, a plan to read more books, or some other goal that promises great benefit. Often, we disappoint ourselves because don’t attain our goals.
But what if we resolved to do one thing that promises to help us in every aspect of our lives? What if we resolved to be anxious for nothing?
About 18% of adult Americans suffer from an anxiety disorder. And everyone, to some degree, suffers from anxiety. It’s universal problem that we all desire to be rid of.
And yet most forms of anxiety are self-inflicted.
What’s the Cause?
Uncertainty or worry causes anxiety.
Uncertain about a decision? Anxiety. Worry that the decision you made was the right one? Anxiety.
Most of our lives we worry about what we are going to do or what we have done. We balance on a topsy-turvy platform, never quite stable, and always tipping to one worry or another.
What’s the Solution?
Two solutions to the problem of anxiety come to mind. First, ask, Would I worry about this issue if I were on my deathbed? Would it matter in the grand spectrum of my life? Does it really make an impact? Sometimes gaining perspective by contemplating your own death paradoxically frees from the living death of worry. If the issue seems tiny within the scope of your whole life, it’s likely something that unnecessarily worries you.
Second, do you trust God to carry your worries? Here’s his promise: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Pet 5:6–7 ESV). Be humble by casting your anxieties on God. He will carry them and exalt you. He takes the weight of the worry, so that you can raise your head.
Look: Jesus vicariously took our greatest worry on his shoulders: the fear of death. While in the garden, Jesus prayed with tears and his sweat was like blood. But for our sake, he prayed, “Not my will but your will be done.” He did a hard thing for us. He accepted death, and dying, he freed us from its power.
Our Lord not only atones for sin, but he destroys its power completely.
So, trust him.
Worry or anxiety tends to reduce your ability to live well. It can damage your body. And it’s often unnecessary.
Most of our stresses come from things that are important when we consider our entire life. Besides this, anxiety is often the opposite of humility. It’s taking on the worry yourself when God says: let me carry it for you. And Christ says, I accepted your greatest fear, death, and destroyed it for your sake.
Worry not in 2018. There’s no point, it’s often prideful, and God will carry it for you.