Worry: The Fruit of a Divided Heart

April 18, 1999


When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. Psalm 94:19 The word “anxiety” comes from a root word meaning “to divide.” That’s because anxiety produces a divided mind, one which is pulled this way and that way, constantly distracted and disturbed. Here’s the point: either the Lord carries the worry or we do. If we do, well be divided, distracted, disturbed, confused, frustrated, burdened. If he carries the load, we may still have trouble and difficulties, but no anxiety, no dominating fear, no undue concern, and no hopeless despair.

There’s a reason we can do that with confidence “your consolation brought joy to my soul.” This touches a secret fear of many believers that if we submit our lives to Jesus Christ, he’ll mess things up. He’ll ask us to do things we don’t want to do, he’ll send us places we don’t want to go, he’ll bring unpleasant people into our lives and force us to be someone we don’t want to be. And we secretly fear he can’t be trusted to take care of us. So we decide to live at a 60% or 70% level of trust and wonder why we are so bored, frustrated, and unfulfilled spiritually.

I’m convinced that most of our problems are theological. We’ve never settled the question “What kind of God do we believe in?” In biblical terms, we’ve never settled the question of whether we believe God really cares for us. We think he does, we hope he does, but many days were not sure. When you get right down to it, were not sure about God. We can’t quite bring ourselves to trust him. Until we, by a conscious choice, settle the big question, “What kind of God do I believe in?,” all lesser questions will go unanswered.

Here is the genius of biblical Christianity: God cares for me. And he proved it by sending his own Son to die for me. At the cross the issue was settled for eternity. Any God who would sacrifice his own Son for a person like me must care for me. Theres no other reason he would do such a thing.

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 or use a priest or offer a sacrifice. We simply come as his children and gladly he hears us. We don’t do anything to make God care. We begin and act from the assurance, rooted in history, that God cares for us. And it’s on that basis that we can unload all our worries on him.

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