I have had the immense joy of guest-posting on several amazing sites since March. Today, I’m so excited because I now actually have my very first guest-poster to share with y’all!! 😀 I can’t imagine a more special gal to have write the first guest post here on the site than my dear friend, Amber Durgan. Enjoy!
Hurricanes, fires, car crashes, dictators, financial responsibilities – it seems as if humans are given a new reason to worry everyday. There is so much going on in this broken world. Do you realize though, that in the Bible, God tells us not to fear 365 times, and that worrying about these things or anything else is going against His direct command?
Worrying is telling God we don’t trust Him to take control of our situations, so we are going to take things into our own hands. It is like a weed that grows and chokes out anything beautiful we have cultivated in our life – it is a ploy of Satan to attack us from within. Jesus, however, says that fear is not our load to carry. His desire is for us to trust Him even when the waves are raging and threatening to overtake us.
Understanding the Heart of God
It’s important to note that God doesn’t tell us our worries are nonsense or superficial. He – better than any of His created – understands what a broken world this is. He sympathizes with us. In fact, the shortest verse in the Bible tells us that He wept (see John 11:35). However, God loves us enough that He is not going to leave us in the murk of fear and worry. He wants us to live free, abundant lives. He said in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came so that they may have live and have it abundantly.”
When we follow through with God’s commandment not to worry, we can turn from worry to worshipful living. It honors God when instead of worrying about things outside of our control, we trust Him in the midst of our storms and trials. 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to cast all our cares on Him because He cares for us. What more beautiful picture could there be, than our shepherd taking on all our cares so that we may be free of fear and worry!
In Matthew 6:25-32 Jesus says,
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
So, how does a 21st century Christian actually live in a world such as ours without worrying? I believe God has given us a few tools we can use in this spiritual battle. Truly, that’s what this is – a battle. Satan wants us trapped in the weeds of worry and is fighting against all God would have for us. Here’s the thing – we know who wins in the end, so let’s not give Satan any satisfaction on this earth by giving into his ploys. The most important thing for us to remember is that we cannot do it on our own, we have to rely on God to help us live as He would have us. There are a few tools we can put into our arsenal to defeat the devil and live the way God desires for us to:
We need to be in constant communication with God.
It is important to share with the Lord what is troubling us and to remember it is not a sin to go to God with our fears. God is the only one who is able to cast out fear (perfect love drives out fear, see John 4:18) Praying will keep us attune to what God is doing in our lives. When we are walking through trial but staying in communication with Him, God is able to ward off Satan’s lies directed towards us. Prayer then is like a shield against evil. King David poured his heart out to God time and time again; he didn’t hide his feelings from God whether they were praises, worries or complaints. God even called David a man after His own heart. Let’s strive to be women after God’s heart and not women living in the heat of worry.
We need to remember where our strength comes from.
Proverbs 31:25 says, “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.” The lady of Proverbs 31 had a confidence that came from God alone. She was able to trust Him with the future and, therefore, did not waste her time worrying. She knew God had been faithful in the past and trusted Him to be so in the future.
As the old hymn “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” says, when we fix our eyes on Jesus the things of this world “become strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace”. I am reminded of Simon Peter when he walked out on the water towards Jesus. As long as he kept his gaze on Jesus and not the waves swirling around him, he walked with a sure foot. As soon as he looked down and started to worry, however, he began to drown. Let’s turn our worries into worship, and trust God enough to then walk on the waters of our life.
We need to turn our worry into worship.
There are big, hard things going on in this world; no one is denying that. A part of being able to turn our worry into worship is realizing what a big God we serve. In his book Crazy Love Fransis Chan says,
“Have you ever thought of how diverse and creative God is? He didn’t have to make hundreds of different kinds of bananas but He did. He didn’t have to put 3,000 different species of trees within one square mile in the Amazon jungle, but He did. God didn’t have to create so many different types of laughter. Think about the different sounds of your friends’ laughs – wheezes, snorts, silent, loud, obnoxious. How about the way plants defy gravity by drawing water upward from the ground into their stems and veins? Or did you know that spiders produce three kinds of silk? When they build their webs, they create sixty feet of silk in one hour, simultaneously producing special oil on their feet that prevents them from sticking to their own web. (Most of us hate spiders, but sixty feet and hour deserves some respect!) Coral plants are so sensitive that they can die if the water temperature varies by even one or two degrees. …Whatever God’s reasons for such diversity, creativity and sophistication in the universe, on earth and in our own bodies, the point of it all is His glory. God’s art speaks of Himself, who He is and what He is like”.¹
If God can create all this beauty, we should have no trouble trusting Him with our troubles! God knew the ins and outs of our lives before He even hung the stars in place. We serve an amazing God. Let’s trust Him and kick fear and worry to the curb, ladies!
“The LORD is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” ~Exodus 15:2
¹Francis Chan, Crazy Love, (Colorado Springs, Colorado: David C. Cook), pg. 27-28
Amber is writing to us from her home in Montana. Momma to an active toddler-boy and wife to her engineer/rancher husband, she spends her days doing her best to embrace the “grand adventure” of life. Her blogging mission is to inspire others to live a more passionate and joy filled life, centered around the true source of joy, Jesus Christ. You can read more of her writings at Embrace This Joyful Life. You can also find her on Instagram and Facebook!